ASHA workers on the warpath

They seek payment of long-pending salaries; oppose grading system

August 26, 2019 11:15 pm | Updated August 27, 2019 07:49 am IST - Vijayawada

ASHA workers staging a dharna in Vijayawada on Monday.

ASHA workers staging a dharna in Vijayawada on Monday.

The Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) have staged a protest in the city, demanding that the government pay their long-pending salaries and revoke the grading system that decides their pay scale.

Under the aegis of CITU, a large number of ASHA workers across the State gathered took part in ‘Chalo Vijayawada’ campagin. They express their disapproval over the government’s decision to introduce a grading system that would determine the pay of the worker based on their performance.

“We welcomed the decision of the government over the hike in our honorarium, but to accept it at the cost of losing our jobs is unjustified. We voted for Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy because he promised us our rights but now he is ignoring us,” alleged K. Dhanalakshmi, State General Secretary, ASHA workers union.

Ms. Dhanalakshmi said that as per the new grading system, only workers with grade ‘A’ were eligible to get ₹10,000. The amount would reduce with every demotion and if a worker happened to be in C grade for a period of three months, she would be effectively removed from her job. She also stated that as per the new rule, only workers with a matriculation certificate were eligible for the job

“We have been serving the people of the State for 15 years now without any educational qualification. This is the only thing we can do best. The government cannot remove us from the job on the basis of our education. We will fight to keep our jobs,” she said. The workers also demanded that the government disburse their pending salaries for over eight months.

ASHA workers in Palakollu mandal in West Godavari district have been detained by the police when they were voicing their protests as part of the ‘Chalo Vijayawada’ campaign. Palakollu MLA Nimmala Rama Naidu joined the protest and demanded that the police free the workers.

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