NHM employees begin two day strike, seek fulfillment of demands
Srinagar: National Health Mission (NHM) Employees Monday kick-started their two-day strike aimed at reminding the government of the array of demands that were promised to them last year. However, caught in a tight-spot, the state administration seems to be securing a safer corner for itself by saying that the major demand—regularization of the NHM employees—is something the Centre can decide on.
The striking employees, under the umbrella of All J&K NHM Employees’ Association, are demanding the regularization of their duties, while also demanding the equal work-equal pay, among other unfulfilled demands.
Earlier in 2018, the NHM employees, while seeking attention of the government to their demands, had observed a 35-day strike, which ended up after the government and the employees jotted down an agreement, never to be looked at.
While talking to Kashmir Vision, spokesperson NHM employees, Abdul Rouf said that the government has been giving a deaf ear to their demands, “The Association has repeatedly represented to the authorities in last one year but there has been no headway. So much so, the authorities have even failed to fulfill our demands which involved no financial implications,” he said.
“We are demanding what was promised to us, which includes the formation of a committee which was to be given the task of looking into how the regularization process can be carried out, which has not been done so far, among other demands such as equal pay equal work and a full-fledged leave package,” he said.
The employees had observed a marathon strike from December 2017 till January 2018 after which, an agreement was laid down between the government and the NHM employees, “the agreement stated 9 demands put forth by the employees, out of 9 only 3 demands have been met, rest are still pending,” Rouf said.
Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education AtalDullo told Kashmir Vision that the call for the regularization of the NHM employees is for the Centre to take, as the 90 per cent of the funds come from it.
“Some of the demands of the employees have been met, however, on regularization, the State is dependent of the Centre, the funds come directly from it,” he said.
While saying that the State will once again take up the issue of the regularization with the Centre, Dullo said: “As of now, we can do nothing, but take up the issue with the Centre all over again, as for funds, we are dependent on them.”
While the employees have raised their demands once again, the strike call has paralyzed the working of various hospitals across the state, especially those in the far-flung areas.
The NHM employees will continue with the strike on Tuesday, as it was notified earlier, and the future course of action will also be decided on the same day.
“The 2-day strike is to remind the government of their promises that were made to us, rest will be decided after the culmination of the strike on Tuesday,” Rouf said.
Pertinently, all employees working under the umbrella of National Health Mission including RNTCP -JKSACS are observing the strike to press the government for fulfillment of their ‘just’ demands.