Staff of 108 Emergency Ambulance Services call off strike after talks with health department over non-payment of wages

Staff of 108 Emergency Ambulance Services alleged that they hadn't been paid their salaries in full since December.
Last Updated : 06 May 2024, 13:28 IST
Last Updated : 06 May 2024, 13:28 IST

Follow Us :


Bengaluru: The staff of the running 108 Emergency Ambulance Services in Karnataka have called off their strike which was scheduled to start on Monday night.

They have agreed to reconsider following a meeting with officials at the Arogya Soudha, at the Health Department's headquarters, on Tuesday.

Roughly 3,500 drivers and staff nurses statewide, who are a part of the three major associations of 108 ambulance services, alleged that they hadn't been paid their salaries in full since December.

They demanded that their service provider GVK EMRI - now called EMRI Green Health Services - pay them Rs 30,000 each, alleging that they only received Rs 12,000 in December and January and then nothing since February.

"We work at least 12 hours every day. We are only asking to be paid our rightful wages," said Paramashiva N H, the Vice President of Suvarna Karnataka Arogya Kavacha (108) Noukarara Sangha.

Initially, they decided to go on an indefinite strike from Monday night until their salaries were credited. Following discussions with the Health Department, they decided to put a hold on the decision until another round of talks takes place which has been planned on Tuesday, noted Paramashiva.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao assured that there are no financial issues with the government. "The Finance Department had allocated Rs 210.33 crore to the Health Department for the financial year 2023-24. According to the MoU signed with the service provider, the department has released Rs 162.40 crore to the service provider for 711 ambulances,” he said.

D Randeep, the Commissioner for Health and Family Welfare, told Deccan Herald that the service provider had already been paid due amounts for the financial year 2023-24, and had received an advance amount for the first quarter of this financial year as well.

"The service provider has taken up wage corrections to ensure annual wages are kept within minimum wages and the MoU amount," he said and acknowledged that the company had to "communicate this to the employees with transparency".

"We stand by the fact that wages have to be given and there should be no shortfalls. However, it is not okay for them to go on strike like this," he said.

He added that the Health Department is willing to take the topic up after June 4 and is prepared with alternative measures to ensure that the ambulance services continue, even if the staff decide to go ahead with the strike.

Published 06 May 2024, 13:28 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us