Health Employees Protest To Seek Regularisation

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SRINAGAR — A large number of employees associated with the National Health Mission (NHM), Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) Monday carried out a protest demonstration seeking regularisation of services.

As part of the two-day strike, hundreds of employees held a protest in Pratap Park Srinagar against the “government’s apathy towards their demands.” The employees sought formulation of a regularisation policy as well as the implementation of the Supreme Court’s order of “equal-pay-for-equal-work, benefit of the 7th Pay Commission, full leave package, removal of pay disparity and medical cover.”

 “We are demanding job security, financial security and social security,”  said Rouf Ahamd, president of the NHM Employees Association.   “We have approached the authorities several times last year but nothing moved which forced us to protest,” he said.

The protesting employees said that promises made by former Health Minister, Bali Bhagat, was not “fulfilled” and the government’s report over regularisation was pending in the secretariat.

Wahid Wani, a protesting employee, said  that people who were working with “NHM do not have any job security and several people were still waiting for pending wages.”

“If an employee dies there is no plan that can help their families. Many employees who are serving in the department are now in their late 50s and are still waiting for regularisation,” he added.

Wani said since “there was no response from the government, the professional workforce had been forced to take to the streets.” He said that the “children of many employees weren’t able to attend school due to pending fees.”

The government had constituted a group of the officers to look into the employee demands, but “there has been no movement whatsoever on this front.”

The employees said despite delay in release of their wages they had been performing their duties “to serve the people and were ready to face any hardship.”  “But all we wanted was security and wages.”

The employees warned the government that if their demands were neglected again, they would go for a prolonged strike.

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