Assured arrears, health workers call of strike

Group C and D employees at government hospitals in the city have called off their planned three-day strike with the government agreeing to pay 10 months’ arrears in patient care allowance.


The strike, earlier set to begin on Wednesday, would expected to cripple functioning of hospitals during peak hours.


The employees had been demanding implementation of a hike in their patient care allowance (PCA) with effect from February 2009 - when they received a written assurance that it would be doubled - rather than from January 2010 when the Cabinet approved the increase.


The PCA for clerical staff had been increased from Rs 690 to Rs 1,380, for group D employees the hike was from Rs 695 to Rs 1,390, and for group C from Rs 700 to Rs 1,400. There have been many agitations in the last two years over the arrears issue.


Under pressure after announcement of the strike, chief minister Sheila Dikshit, in the presence of health minister A K Walia, assured employees that the proposal to pay the arrears will passed at the Delhi Cabinet meeting next week. This will benefit nearly 9,400 employees and will cost the state exchequer about Rs 7 crore.

“The head of the government has given us an assurance. The CM also holds the charge of finance ministry. If this time this is not approved, we will go for an agitation again,” said Mohan Singh Gehlot, general secretary of Delhi State Swasthya Karamchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Committee.


The union had planned a `non-cooperation movement’ from 9 am to 12 pm. This is the time when the outpatient departments in government hospitals work, and other services are also in full swing.


On the employees’ demand of an increased allowance for uniforms, the CM asked the committee to quote an amount factoring in inflation, and assured that it will be looked  into.

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