Delhi: MCD union warns of strike from Dec 13, demands pending salaries

The confederation, which comprises of 22 municipal workers’ unions, has stated that a series of protests will be held by individual unions during the next fortnight, and warned that it will transform into a full-fledged strike from December 13 if the issues are resolved
The two North MCD run civic hospitals, Hindu Rao and Kasturba hospital, have been witnessing three-hour pen down strike and protests from doctors, nurses and paramedical staff from last two weeks. (ANI)
The two North MCD run civic hospitals, Hindu Rao and Kasturba hospital, have been witnessing three-hour pen down strike and protests from doctors, nurses and paramedical staff from last two weeks. (ANI)
Updated on Nov 28, 2021 01:29 AM IST
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ByParas Singh

New Delhi: Days after protests by the paramedical staff and resident doctors in two key municipal hospitals, the Confederation of MCD Employees Unions on Saturday issued a “strike notice” to the three municipal corporations of Delhi over non-payment of salaries. The group has also pushed for reunification of the three civic bodies, pointing out that there was no financial distress under the erstwhile unified corporation.

The confederation, which comprises of 22 municipal workers’ unions, has stated that a series of protests will be held by individual unions during the next fortnight, and warned that it will transform into a full-fledged strike from December 13 if the issues are resolved.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the confederation has argued that since its formation in 1957, the erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi had never faced a financial crisis before its trifurcation in 2012. “The confederation is persistently pursuing the vital issue of unification of three MCDs so that the problem of financial crisis could be resolved for the benefit of the citizens of Delhi as well as the better functioning of the three corporations,” said the letter, which has also been sent to the Union urban development ministry, home ministry and the lieutenant governor.

AP Khan, the convener of the confederation, said that the unification is the only long-term solution to the crisis. “At least the finance departments of the three corporations should be merged so that this frequent problem can have permanent solution and suffering of thousands of employees can be ended,” he said.

Khan noted that there is two- and three-month pendency of salaries and pensions in many cases. “We keep on hearing the same arguments regarding fund shortage and the blame game between the corporations and Delhi government about release of funds. Some individual unions, such as paramedical staff, nurses and junior residents in Hindu Rao hospital have already announced token strikes and protests and now we have decided to go on complete strike after 15 days,” he added.

The two north MCD run civic hospitals Hindu Rao and Kasturba hospital have been witnessing three-hour pen down strike and protests from doctors, nurses and paramedical staff from last two weeks.

Dr Sunil Kumar, the president of the Kasturba hospital Resident Doctors Association said that a three-hour pen down strike was started by doctors on Monday, and all the junior residents have gone on complete strike from Friday.

“Right now, the senior doctors are managing the emergency services. We are hoping that nurses and senior doctors will join us from Monday. Despite repeated strikes and assurances of regularisation of our salaries, no solid action has been taken by the higher authorities to find a permanent solution to the problem. While both EDMC and SDMC have enhanced the dearness allowances of their workers, our DA remains pending from July onwards. Last month’s salary has also not been paid,” he added.

One of the biggest maternity hospitals in the Walled City, the 450-bed Kasturba hospital oversees over 16,000 deliveries every year. RDA members say that the hospital is overseeing 400-500 patients every day with an average of 30-40 child birth deliveries taking place every day.

Khan said there is no uniformity in releasing the salaries of municipal workers, despite several warnings from the courts. “The sanitation department workers have got their salaries. This pick and choose policy should not be in place,” he added.

Indu Jamwal, who heads Hindu Rao nurses association, said that through the strike, they are demanding the 7th Pay Commission arrears, DA, two-month pending salary and filling of vacant posts.

Jogi Ram Jain, the standing committee chairman of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, said that an agreement has been reached with the doctors of Hindu Rao hospital and they are expected to resume services soon. “We are continuously carrying out efforts to resolve the situation. They should not go on strike for salary delays of 1-2 months when the poor patient suffers. There is delay but salaries are being cleared on a priority basis. These protests are politically motivated,” he said.

He added that dearness allowance of only doctors cannot be revised and the decision will have to consider all 50,000 employees.

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Saturday, January 22, 2022