Nearly 700 nurses, ward boys and helpers at the JJ Group of Hospitals went on a daylong strike on Tuesday protesting against the state government's failure to implement the benefits of the sixth pay commission.
The demands of the class III and class IV employees include clearance of dearness allowance (DA) for the last 35 months, increasing their retirement age from 58 to 60 and filling up of the posts, 40% of which lie vacant.
Patient care was not affected due to the strike, said Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ Group of Hospitals that includes St George's Hospital, Cama and GT hospitals. "At least 10% to 15% staff was working besides the technicians. While around 100 routine surgeries were postponed, all the other departments including emergency were functioning properly," he said.
Senior and resident doctors along with medical and nursing students handled the patient care. MBBS students worked as attendants, liftmen and served food to the patients. Around 370 nursing students including those enrolled in BSC nursing and undergraduates handled the work.
Besides, Pramila Thule, a public health sister registered a complaint against Kasturi Kadam, joint secretary, Maharashtra Nurses Federation for allegedly threatening her while she was going to attend her duty on Tuesday morning. "I was going to attend work but she stopped me and pushed me," said Thule.
"We registered a case against the nurse for using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his/her duty," said Khanderao Patil, senior inspector of JJ Marg police station.
"The hospital will also conduct a departmental inquiry into the matter," said Dr Lahane.
Talking about the staff's demands, Dr Lahane said that a total of 488 posts for Class III and IV workers are vacant.