Following counselling and assurances by various people for three consecutive days, the agitating doctors of Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Thursday called off their strike and resumed teaching. Paramedical staff and other non-teaching staff, however, continued with the agitation.
On Thursday, Sunil Kapur, who claimed to be the consultant of the newly added members of the PIMS, held separate discussions with doctors and other staff.
On Wednesday, a similar role was played by local MLA Pargat Singh and on Tuesday, by Dinesh Mishra, another adviser of the newly added management.
"Kapur has assured us one-month salary by Thursday evening and the remaining two months' salaries by February 2. He also assured us that the increments given to select employees would be taken back and the same work, same pay principle would be implemented," said a doctor.
In the meeting, the doctors raised their voice against the college principal and demanded that the HR officials be changed, alleging that they had given out-of-turn promotions and increments to juniors.
Paramedical staff, however, did not agree to call off the strike and they left the meeting place raising slogans against the PIMS management. Later, Kapur went to persuade them and also called them again for a meeting.
"Every day, we are being addressed by different people. We have no faith in the assurances given by Kapur, whom we don't know. He also showed us a letter signed by the principal that the faulty increments would be taken back. But how can we trust the principal who had earlier issued cheques to the staff that had bounced," an agitating employee said.
"We have decided to continue with our agitation till the time Pargat Singh, our MLA, gives us the assurance. We can at least approach him in case the management fails to keep their promise as has happened in the past," he added.
Doctors also raised doubts over the credibility of the PIMS assurances. "We have taken back our stir keeping in mind the careers of students. In the absence of paramedical and other technical staff, we can teach only theory. For clinical teaching, we need patients also. Due to the recent crisis, the image of the institute has been sullied. The government should come up with a permanent solution to the problem," said a doctor.