ASHA workers protest outside OP Soni’s residence, seek hike in honorarium : The Tribune India

ASHA workers protest outside OP Soni’s residence, seek hike in honorarium

ASHA workers protest outside OP Soni’s residence, seek hike in honorarium

ASHA workers stage a protest outside the residence of Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni in Amritsar on Sunday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21

Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and facilitators staged a massive protest outside the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Om Parkash Soni on Sunday demanding an increase in honorarium paid to them and better working conditions.

The workers raised slogans against the Punjab Government and Soni who also holds the portfolio of health and demanded that their genuine demands, which have been ignored for long, be accepted at the earliest. The workers from different districts of the state participated in the protest and alleged that the government was not recognising the services rendered by them at grassroots level.

The workers gathered near railway station and marched towards Soni’s residence, where his staff informed that the CM has invited the union representatives for a meeting on November 23.

They alleged that despite working on different national programmes including female foeticide and even Covid vaccination, they were being paid paltry incentives, which too sometimes are not released on time.

Lakhwinder Kaur Jhabal, state general secretary of ASHA Workers and Facilitators Union said: “The ASHA workers and facilitators should be brought under the ambit of Minimum Wages Act and a monthly honorarium of Rs18,000 must be paid.” She added that till the time the demand is not accepted, an honorarium of Rs4,000 per month should be paid over and above the incentives given to them at present for different works. She said the Haryana Government was already paying this amount and there was no reason that Punjab Government should discriminate with its employees.

Sukhwinder Kaur, state president of the union, said: “We also demand an increase in the allowance being paid to ASHA workers by the state and Centre governments for working as frontline warriors in fighting the pandemic.” She said one ASHA facilitator should be appointed for every seven ASHA workers.

Employees also demanded that restrooms for them should be created at hospitals, as they often travel with pregnant women nearing child birth during emergencies at night. She said ASHA workers who have cleared the test for multipurpose health workers should be immediately issued appointment letters.

Tribune Shorts


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