Exempt from Centre's resolve on DA, DR: AIIMS nurses

AIIMS Nurses Union seeks exemption from Centre's decision to put on hold DA, DR hike

Representative image/AFP Photo

The AIIMS Nurses Union termed the Centre's decision of putting on hold increment in dearness allowance (DA) for employees and dearness relief (DR) for pensioners due to the coronavirus crisis "insensitive", and sought exemption of nursing staff and retirees from it.

The finance ministry on Thursday froze inflation-linked allowance for 50 lakh central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners till June 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, DA and DR at current rates will continue to be paid, it said.

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In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, the union said during this COVID-19 pandemic nurses at AIIMS and various other hospitals across the country are facing unprecedented challenges.

"Almost all nurses are getting exposed to this deadly virus on a daily basis due to myriad reasons. They are being deprived of their fullest family life, periodic leave etc because of this crisis situation," AIIMS Nurses Union president Harish Kumar Kajla said in the letter.

Terming the Centre's decision "insensitive", the union said healthcare workers are relentlessly working to save human lives and nurses constitute a major chunk of that workforce.

These frontline warriors also have contributed their one day salary to PM-CARES fund when the government urged them to do so, Kajla said, adding "This decision of freezing DA during this hard time is really unfortunate and condemnable. It would surely hurt the morale and self-esteem of all nurses across India."

Healthcare workers will incur a huge loss since freezing of DA will also affect their house rent allowance (HRA) benefits as well, he said.

In the letter, the AIIMS Nurses Union also highlighted that Haryana and Odisha governments have offered salary improvement for healthcare workers during this crisis.