‘Helpless as our demands weren’t met’: AIIMS nurses’ union as indefinite strike enters day 2
In biting cold and amid the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, an indefinite strike of the nurses’ union of Delhi’s premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entered day 2 on Tuesday. Around 3,000-5,000 nurses launched strike on Monday over a host of demands, including that related to the 6th Central Pay Commission.
Here’s all you need to know about it:
1. “Our union is ready for talks with the administration. We’re feeling bad for patients but we’re helpless as our demands haven’t been met. We had given notice for a strike a month ago but even then, the administration didn’t listen to our demands,” Harish Kajla, president, AIIMS nurses’ union, told news agency ANI on Tuesday.
2. The strike began on Monday afternoon, with the union, in a letter to AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, blaming the administration’s “callous attitude towards the nurses” behind their reason to go on a strike.
3. Responding to the letter, Dr Guleria on Monday put out a video message, calling the union’s decision to strike during pandemic time “inappropriate and unfortunate.” Appealing to the union to call off the strike, he urged the protesters to return and “help us get through this pandemic.”
4. Dr Guleria also said of the 23 demands raised by the union, almost all had been met by the AIIMS administration. On the demand regarding the 6th Pay Commission, he said it was basically a “perceived anomaly” in the fixation of the initial pay as per the commission.
5. “Their demands stand discussed with them for resolution. Union abandoned critically patients on demand of perceived anomaly of fixation of initial pay related to 6th CPC of 2006,” ANI quoted an AIIMS statement as saying.
6. Late last night, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan issued an order, citing a Delhi high court judgement, directing the AIIMS administration to ensure there was no cessation or disruption of nursing services. The order further warned of action under the Disaster Management Act, over non-compliance.
7. As a result of the strike, officials said, emergency services, outpatient departments (OPD) and operation theatres (OT) will be curtailed and services rendered depending on the availability of resident doctors and faculty members.
8. On Monday, there were 1,376 cases of Covid-19 in Delhi, as per a Delhi government medical bulletin. Total cases are at 608,830 while death toll reached 10,074 with 60 new fatalities.