Around 5,000 nurses of the Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) went for an indefinite strike on Monday, with a series of demands including increment of salary. The strike has disrupted delivery of services at the hospital which is tackling as well as other serious patients.
Their demands include the correction of an anomaly in the fixation of the initial pay based on the Sixth Central Pay Commission, addressing various matters such as removal of gender-based reservation in the recruiting process of nursing officers, the abolishment of contractual appointments, enhancement of hospital accommodation and cadre restructuring. AIIMS Nurses Union President Harish Kajla said that they have been asking the Centre to consider their demands but the government has turned it down, reported Mint.
“Our demands were even agreed by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in the meeting held last year,” Kajla said. Meanwhile AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that majority of their demands have been addressed. “They have 23 demands. Almost all the demands have been met by the AIIMS administration and government. I appeal all nurses and nursing officers not to go on strike at this time of the epidemic,” Guleria said.
The health ministry has also warned that non-compliance of the “code of conduct” would be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code. The ministry cited a 2002 Delhi High Court verdict that said no employee, staff or faculty member should cease work for any reason.