Staff of Chandigarh’s PGI threaten strike from Feb 23

February 17th, 2009 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 17 (IANS) Patients visiting the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here for treatment could face tough times ahead as non-medical employees of the premiere institute plan to go on an indefinite strike from Feb 23.
The All India Health Employees and Worker Confederation (AIHEWC) has called the strike to press for hike in their patient care allowance and abolition of contractual recruitments in the PGIMER.

“We have received a notice that has also been served to health secretary by AIHEWC, in which they have threatened to go for a strike if their demands are not met. We support the decision of AIHEWC and abide by it,” chairman of negotiation committee of PGIMER Workers’ Union Ashwani Munjal told IANS Tuesday.

As part of the nation-wide protest, employees of the PGIMER also went on a two-hour strike from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, inconveniencing the patients. The employees will again observe a two-hour strike Wednesday.

“Over 3,000 employees of the PGIMER like engineers, technicians, attendants, security personnel, central sterile supply department staff and store staff are registered with us and supporting us in this drive. However, we have decided not to hamper the working of emergency unit and the operation theatres,” Munjal said.

About their demands, Munjal said: “We want the government to implement the patient care allowance at par with nursing allowance at Rs.3200 per month. The recent Sixth Pay Commission has recommended its abolition but we strongly condemned this move.”

“Secondly, we want pay band II for health workers. We also want to end the system of contractual recruitments as it has led to problems in the smooth working of the institute,” he said.

The PGIMER is thronged by thousands of patients everyday because of its world-class facilities and close proximity from neighbouring states like Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

However, the PGIMER authorities are not in a mood to tolerate any laxity in work by their employees.

“This strike is not lawful and we will follow the principle of no-work-no-pay. We will take action against employees who do not report at work, and will try to make alternate arrangements for the patients,” PGIMER medical superintendent A.K. Gupta said.

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