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Chandigarh: PGI staff call off strike

To ‘get’ higher wages, talks to continue

Chandigarh: PGI staff call off strike

Amid staff strike, NGO activists perform duties at the PGI.



Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, April 4

The strike by nearly 3,000 contractual workers of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) ended late on Thursday evening. The PGI Joint Action Committee decided to call off strike at 9:10 pm following three rounds of talks with BJP leader Arun Sood, Dr Vivek Lal, Director, PGI, and Pankaj Rai, Deputy Director.

An agreement was reached on the condition that the Deputy Director will visit New Delhi to seek funds for higher wages to the contractual staff. Additionally, negotiations on four other demands, including regularisation of jobs, will commence next week.

Earlier during the day, the PGI roped in 45 volunteers from NGOs, including Sukh Foundation and Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra. These volunteers stepped into roles of hospital attendants and sanitation workers. Rai said, “We also extended the working hours of 300 regular sanitation attendants to ensure critical patient areas remain clean.”

Even though volunteers were observed managing traffic and organising queues at the OPDs, besides assisting with hospital cleaning, doctors faced a tough challenge in carrying out their duties. The strike impacted essential services, particularly at the trauma centre and operating theaters. Surgical procedures were slightly affected.

‘BJP to blame for crisis’

Attacking the BJP for the crisis at the PGI, former Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal alleged the BJP had given step-motherly treatment to the contractual employees of the PGI as well as the UT. “The BJP should have accepted the legitimate demands of the employees so that they would not have to strike work and patients would not have to suffer,” he said.

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