Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 ward nurses in Virudhunagar working without pay for 70 days

Thirty-six nurses, who were recruited on temporary basis for the COVID-19 ward in Virudhunagar Government Medical College hospital, are working without pay for 70 days.

The nurses, who had earlier cleared Medical Services Recruitment Board examination in 2019, were taken on contract basis for six months. The candidates, who had undergone B.Sc. in Nursing or Diploma in Nursing courses, joined duty on May 11.

“We have completed 70 days of work and not received even the first month’s salary till date,” one of the nurses complained.

Every time the salary issue was raised, the authorities complained that many nurses had not submitted their duty certificate and photocopy of their savings bank passbook, she said.

“One of our colleagues had submitted the photocopy four times. But the officer concerned asked for it for the fifth time saying that he had not received it,” she alleged.

However, the salary of ₹14,000 per month had been paid to candidates who were recruited elsewhere in the State.

“When we all visited the office of Joint Director of Health Services to enquire about the salary, we were asked not to enter the office as we had worked in the COVID-19 ward and sent back without any proper answer,” the nurse alleged.

No proper break

In May, the nurses were given duty in COVID-19 ward for one week followed by one week quarantine at a hotel and then one day leave.

“But, later, they started to keep us in quarantine for less number of days and again put in COVID-19 ward. They also denied us any leave saying that quarantine period itself was leave for us,” she alleged.

Stating that continuous exposure in the COVID-19 ward without minimum break would make them vulnerable to the coronavirus, the nurses wanted to follow the established rules as being implemented for the regular nurses.

Meanwhile, enquiry with officials in the Health Department revealed that the department was functioning with skeletal staff. The process of salary disbursement was under way and their salary would be credited in the next two days.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:04:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-ward-nurses-in-virudhunagar-working-without-pay-for-70-days/article32139513.ece

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