Underpaid and no insurance, contract nurses on the move – the New Indian Express


Express news service

VIJAYAWADA: In search of “for equal work, equal pay” and the regularization of their employment, the contract nurses appointed in 2016 organize demonstrations, but they regularly carry out their tasks. However, nurses in Vijayawada and Tirupati withdrew their protest after oral assurance from the director of medical education, while others await a GO or written assurance from the EMR.

About 8,000 contract nurses working in PHC, CHCs across the state since 2006 are also participating in the symbolic protests, which began on June 14. On Thursday, the contract nurses emailed their memorandum of demands and demands to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. , Minister of Health Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas and Principal Secretaries (Health).

On Friday, they decided to organize protests and deekshas in the GGHs and at the Mandal headquarters and decided to go on strike from June 28 if their demands were not met. “There is no other way to be heard. We contacted the authorities to seek justice, but there was no response, ”Bhavani, a contract nurse in Visakhapatnam, told TNIE. She said they only had three demands: “equal work, equal pay”, regularization of their positions and gratuity / insurance coverage for contract nurses on par with regular nurses. She said that they only run dharna during off-peak hours without causing inconvenience to the patients.

Stating that their requests are genuine, P Meenakshi, contact nurse at King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam, explained that no less than a thousand nurses were appointed under contract in 2016. “Since then, we have sincerely performed our duties and even risked our lives during the Covid pandemic. More nurses were appointed in September-October last year due to the increase in cases. However, they were paid 34,000 per month as wages, but we who worked with the same skill and risk only get 22,000 per month. It’s really unfair, ”she said.

Meenakshi and Bhavani said their request for regularization is also justified as they served almost six years. “Even if the authorities do not plan to regularize our service, they should at least pay us on an equal basis with those who have been newly recruited,” they stressed. A similar opinion is expressed by those who have been recruited since 2006 and assigned to PHC, CHC, AP Vaidya Vidhana Parishad hospitals and as part of the National Rural Health Mission. They say their qualification and their work are no different, so why should they be paid less.

More importantly, nurses on the way to protest have another important demand. They say that in the past year around 10-11 contract nurses have fallen victim to Covid-19, but since they fall outside the advertised insurance coverage for frontline workers, the families of these nurses are facing a sad fate. “Unfortunately, even in the last GO, insurance and gratuity coverage is only for regular doctors and nurses and contract nurses have been excluded. We want us to be included so that our families can have certain benefits, if anything happens to us, ”Meenakshi said.

When contacted, a contract nurse from Vijayawada GGH said she was the first to start the protest, staging a five-day unrest during off-peak hours. “When we met with the director of medical education and explained our problems, he said that the salary increase dossier had been filed and would shortly be sent to the Chief Minister’s office for approval and that in a month the salary would be increased, ”she said. and specified that they do not belong to any union or association.

Following the assurance, those of Vijayawada GGH withdrew from the demonstration. Likewise, Tirupati contract nurses also gave up protesting. However, those holding protests under the banner of the AP State Government Contract and Outsourcing Staff Nurses Union have decided to continue the protest until there is written assurance.

Three requests
Equal work, equal pay
Regularization of their jobs
Ex-gratia coverage / insurance for contract nurses also on par with regular nurses

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