Work was partially affected in various state government offices across the state as Class III employees resorted to a daylong strike on Tuesday. The striking employees had applied for mass leave in support of their demands.
Claiming that over 80% of the Class III employees participated in the strike, MP Class Three Government Employees Association state president Arun Diwedi said, that because of absence of such employees like clerks, technicians, lab assistants, operators, and so on, work was affected at Collectorate office, tehsil offices, zila panchayat offices, Janpad offices and departmental offices across the state.
However, reports also came that at the strike did not have much impact at many offices. Diwedi rued that principal secretary, health, has ordered that the absence of 157 Class III employees, who had applied for leave and participated in the strike, be considered as a "break in service."
"It is our right to protest in a democratic manner. If such orders have not come from other departments, why is principal secretary, health, scuttling the democratic right of the employees," he said.
Class III employees are demanding grant of three tier time-scale pay-scale, universalisation of the appointment procedure based on compassionate grounds, grant of dearness allowance from the date it was announced by the central government, removal of principal secretary, health, and director, heath, improvement in grade pay, reinstatement of suspended and terminated ANMs (auxiliary nursing midwife) in Rewa and Shahdol and so on.
Madhya Pradesh Class 3 Karmchari Sangh president Vijay Raghuwanshi alleged that because of apathy towards their issues; the state government in a way forced them to take the path of agitation.
"We want the government to look into our genuine demands and assure us that they are really serious about resolving our issues. Otherwise we will be left with no option but to intensify our agitation," he said.
The agitating employees have prepared a 33-point list of their demands that includes CBI enquiry into supply of substandard medicines and regularisation of daily wagers and contractual employees.
Leaders of protesting employees also warned that if their demands were not conceded by the state government, they would go for an indefinite statewide strike from November 29.
Meanwhile, the strike was partially successful in Indore. According to Raj Kumar Pandey, district head of Class III Employees Health Association, around 30-40% of the employees were on strike. "Health services in the state were mostly unaffected as we decided to exempt emergency services from strike," said Pandey.
The association submitted a memorandum with list of demands to the divisional commissioner and the collector. "We did not receive any assurance from them regarding the fulfillment of our demands. But our letter, which is addressed to the chief minister, will be handed over to him," added Pandey.
Meanwhile, the MP Medical Officers Association also extended their support to the Class III employees, by sporting a black band while on duty.