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Civil Hospital contractual staff up in arms

Protesting employees seek regularisation

Civil Hospital contractual staff up in arms

Employees raise slogans during a protest in Ludhiana on Monday. Inderjeet Verma

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27

The contractual staff of the Civil Hospital stage a protest today. Employees such as staff nurses, Class IV employees, lab technicians and operation theatre assistants, who are working on an outsource basis, and under user charges policy of the government, were on strike today.

The protesters are agitating under the banner of User Charges Employees’ Sangharsh Committee. The employees had already warned the Senior Medical Officer of the hospital that they would go ahead with the protest if their demand of regularisation was not accepted.

Addressing the protesters, Raj Kumar Saathi said nearly 200 posts are lying vacant in the Civil Hospital and the present employees were hired in 2014 under the user charges policy as outsourced employees.

They were being given Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,500 as monthly salary. It was in 2013 that Punjab Health System Corporation had sent a letter to Senior Medical Officer and given authority for keeping outsourced employees under the user charges policy, he said. But in the letter, there was no mention of the salary to be given to these outsourced employees.

The letter mentioned that employees can be outsourced where there is need and the flow of the patients is more. But there was no mention to keep these employees on a part-time basis.

The hospital, however, considers these employees as part-time staff even when they are working round the clock just like regular employees, he said. Regular employees are given around Rs 70,000 as monthly salary, while the outsourced employees get between Rs 4,500 and Rs 6,500, Saathi added.

“Even during the Covid time, we gave duty as full time employees without caring about the safety of our lives and families. Many of us were infected with the virus but we continued working. The department has failed to recognise our hard work and never thought about regularisation,” said Ramandeep Singh, another employee.

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