Delhi govt pharmacists go on strike over promotions, salary
The pharmacists’ demands include promotions and salary hike befitting their years of service.delhi Updated: May 21, 2018 14:00 IST
More than 1,000 pharmacists working in government hospitals, dispensaries and mohalla clinics in New Delhi on Monday went on a strike to press for their demands, including promotions and salary hike, affecting thousands of patients.
Bhupendra Kumar, president of the Delhi Pharmacists Employees Association, said the pharmacists have been fighting to get designations befitting their years of service.
“There isn’t any designation change for pharmacists working in the government sector. So, we join as pharmacists, and unlike any other position, we retire as pharmacists too. In all the years of service, we never get recognised as a gazetted officer. In contrast, a person who joins as a peon can also work his way up to a gazetted post,” Kumar said.
In October, when the government came up with a system of designations, the pharmacists’ associations protested saying that it was technically a demotion.
“Earlier, we used to join at a grade pay of 2,800, which increased to 4,200 after two years. Till now, we got three pay hikes in our career, which has now been reduced to two. Also, the increase to 4,200 will now happen after seven years of service instead of two,” a pharmacist working in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital said on the condition of anonymity.
Grade pay is a component of the salary of government employees based on which they receive several other allowances.
Nearly 50,000 patients are treated in the 34 hospitals and several dispensaries, polyclinics and mohalla clinics run by the Delhi government.
“We had advance notice of the strike and so we have asked all the doctors in the OPD to inform each and every patient that the medicines will not be dispensed today (Monday). They have to come back tomorrow (Tuesday),” Dr JC Passey, medical director of Lok Nayak hospital, said.
Lok Nayak, which is Delhi government’s biggest tertiary care hospital, has a single medicine counter being run by nursing staff for dispensing medicines for patients coming to the emergency department.