National Health Mission contract employees threaten strike over unpaid salaries

The employees have urged the government to ensure that their salaries are credited by March 21 failing which they would go on strike

March 17, 2024 09:08 pm | Updated March 18, 2024 06:15 pm IST - HYDERABAD

NHM contract employees staging a protest outside the office of Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare in Hyderabad.

NHM contract employees staging a protest outside the office of Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Nearly 17,000 contract employees affiliated with the National Health Mission (NHM) in Telangana are planning to go on strike from March 22 if their outstanding salaries remain unpaid. The aggrieved employees, part of the NHM Contract and Outsourcing Employees Union, have endured a salary drought since December, coupled with seven months of overdue Pay Revision Commission (PRC) arrears.

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State general secretary of the union Rama Rajesh Khanna said: “We staged a protest outside the Telangana NHM Director’s office in Koti on March 7. Despite garnering State-wide support from all employees, the Health department has remained unresponsive. Subsequently, on March 15, our attempt to meet the NHM director with a representation letter proved futile as he was unavailable, prompting us to redirect our efforts to the Health Secretary’s office at the Secretariat.”

Highlighting the union’s ultimatum in the letter, Mr. Rajesh asserted: “We have urged the government to ensure our salaries are credited by March 21. Failing which, employees will go on strike from March 22.”

As per the National Health Mission website, in Telangana, the role of mission director for NHM falls under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare. The NHM Telangana Payroll website indicates a total of 17,514 employees in the State.

The union has also outlined a series of demands, including the regularisation of contract employees, provision of health cards to all staff, implementation of 180 days maternity leave for female NHM employees, equitable allocation of casual leave equivalent to regular staff, and provision of job security for family members in the event of an employee’s demise.

Numerous employees have turned to ‘X’ to voice their grievances, but to no avail.

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