108 Ambulance Services staff go on statewide protest

108 Ambulance Services staff go on statewide protest

Services face shutdown over salary arrears dispute

Bengaluru: From 8 o’clock of 6 May evening, 108 ambulance services statewide are set to come to a halt due to a protest. Employees, grappling with financial uncertainty, demand the release of three months’ worth of salary arrears, spanning from December 2023 to April 2024.

The impeding shutdown stems from long-standing grievances within the 108 ambulance services, managed by GVK, regarding the non-payment of salaries. Partial payments for December and January have been made in spite of negotiations with health department officials, leaving employees disillusioned and financially strained.

Paramashiva, the Vice President of the 108 Ambulance Employees Union, voiced the collective frustration, claiming that three months’ salary remains outstanding. The situation has reached a critical juncture, with employees facing dire consequences due to the delay in salary disbursement.

The impact of delayed wages reverberates beyond the employees themselves, affecting the livelihoods of their families and the efficiency of emergency response services.

Despite appeals and pleas for intervention, efforts to resolve the issue have yielded little progress. The severity of the situation was tragically underscored by a recent suicide attempt by an ambulance crew member, who cited financial distress as a result of unpaid salaries.

In a last-ditch effort to address the crisis, the employees had issued an ultimatum, setting a deadline for the release of outstanding wages by 8 PM on Monday. Failure to meet this deadline will force the statewide suspension of ambulance services, posing a grave risk to public safety and potentially exacerbating emergencies. More than 715 ambulances are operating under the government ambulance system with around 3500 personnel. The impact of this suspension will be far-reaching.

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