Kumaraswamy looks into the matters of the contract health staff protest
BENGALURU: On Tuesday the members of the Karnataka State Health and Medical Education Department Contract Employees’ Association with their third day of protest for equal pay and job security, met the chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to submit the representation and a set of demands from the department.
The workers’ demands include equal pay for equal work, a comprehensive HR policy and an employee grievance committee among other things.
On Wednesday Vishwaradhya HY, the president of the association said, “While the CM assured us he would look into our demands, he also advised us to resolve smaller issues and demands, such as formation of an internal grievance committee, by coordinating with health department officials directly. However, when we tried, officials did not respond positively. We then decided to carry out a march to the CM’s residence. Police rounded up hundreds of protesters and held us at the ACP office on Mysore Road. Protesters at Freedom Park were not allowed to leave the premises for hours,” said.
The protesting staffers is also comprised of hundreds of women who are accompanied by young babies and toddlers. They are spending the nights at the strike venue. “My four-year-old daughter Princia fell sick, was diagnosed with viral fever and was severely dehydrated over the past two days. I had to get IV administered to her and treated her myself. The doctors among the protesters helped me out. On Tuesday, however, her condition deteriorated and I rushed her to the emergency care centre at Vivus Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Heart Centre in Vasanth Nagar,” said Reena Avinash, a staff nurse from a government medical centre in Galag village, Devadurga taluk in Raichur district.
Dr Kiran Kumar, medical superintendent of Jayanagar general hospital said that “Contract employees only make up 15-20% of our total staff. There has been no effect on daily operations.”