Fed up with the inefficiency of its class four staff, the civic body planned to get private contractors to keep its hospitals clean. However, after protests by the staff on Tuesday, the plan has been put on hold. But the civic body has given class four employees working at Sion hospital a month’s time to keep the hospital premises clean.
“If employees fail to keep it clean, then we will consider appointing a private agency for the three major civic hospitals like KEM, Sion and Nair,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.
“The proposal of privatisation was under consideration but we will take unions into confidence before implementing it,” said mayor Shraddha Jadhav.
Interestingly, the Shiv Sena union, the party, which rules the BMC, along with other unions participated in a ‘Thiyya Andolan’ (non-cooperation) agitation at Sion hospital on Tuesday morning, but called it off after Jadhav and Shewale met the delegation.
The civic body had planned to appoint a private agency to keep the hospital clean after receiving complaints about unhygienic conditions. “The toilets and other areas are not clean. This can infect not only patients but visitors as well,” said Shewale.
There are 512 class four employees working at Sion hospital. Of this, 76 posts are vacant while 100-125 employees are absent on most days. “Last Sunday, only 70-odd employees were working because others were absent to watch a cricket match,” said an official from the Sion hospital, on the condition of anonymity.
“We oppose the privatisation of health services. But we have been assured that all vacant posts will be filled,” said Baba Kadam, union leader, Mumbai Mahapalika Karmachari-Kamgar Sena.
Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner did not comment on the issue.