Demanding wages on par with regular staff, over 3,000 PGI contractual workers may go on strike
The staff includes 1,400 sanitary workers, 1,300 hospital attendants, 130 medical record clerks, 225 lower division clerks, among otherspunjab Updated: Apr 27, 2018 15:26 IST
Protesting against the ‘failure’ of the administration to implement the ‘same and similar wages’ to Group C categories, more than 3,000 contractual employees of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) are planning to go on “indefinite strike” on May 3.
The staff includes 1,400 sanitary workers, 1,300 hospital attendants, 130 medical record clerks, 225 lower division clerks, among others. A notice was served to the PGIMER on April 18.
Who are the ones going on strike?
Geeta, 36-year-old sanitary attendant, has been working at the hospital for 15 years.At 6am, she reports to the duty at the Advanced Cardiac Centre (ACC). Her job is to sweep the stairs twice, 6am to 11am and 11.30am to 2pm. When asked how many stairs are there, she said, “countless.” On salary, she answered, “saat rupay kam gyarah hazaar (seven less than Rs 11,000).” In case, she takes a leave, Rs 422 are deducted from her salary.
She shares how her husband Rakesh’s death got her the job. Rakesh, a sanitary attendant, was posted in the Emergency for at least 10 years, before he died of tuberculosis.
“He got infection from PGIMER, as he served in the emergency for a long time. He became bedridden for two years, before he died. He never allowed me to work in the emergency,” she recalls.
The salary is so meagre that she could not afford the education of her two sons. While the elder son has started helping her in earning money, the younger one is studying.
Anil Kumar, medical record clerk, said, “In case I take a day’s off, they deduct salary for two days. The salary is also very meagre.”
On July 6, 2013, the PGIMER management had agreed to take up the agenda during the next standing finance Committee for the grant of same and similar wages to Group C categories.
“Instead of granting minimum of basic pay and dearness allowance to the hospital attendants, sanitary attendants, kitchen staff and security guards, the PGI had stopped it to Group C employees like sanitary supervisor,” said Ashwani Munjal, chairman of the union.
‘Those who go on strike will not be taken back’
A notice has been issued to all hospital engineers on the directions of the superintending hospital engineer, PGIMER. It mentions that those who go on strike will not be taken back.
“Issue a letter to all contractors to ensure that all contractual workers remain on duty during the strike period. If anyone joins strike, he will not be taken back on duty.” “The arrangement of substitute should be available so that the essential hospital services may not suffer,” it mentions.
The compliance report has been asked to be submitted in two days.
Dr Jagat Ram, director, PGIMER, said, “In case the central government grants us more money, we have no issue in paying them more. These are not contractual employees but outsourced workers. We have called them for negotiation but they haven’t come forward.”