Sops by government fail to impress striking NHM workers

Srinagar: With the government Wednesday saying that the regularization demands of National Health Mission (NHM) employees, who are on strike from last several weeks, is under consideration, the striking employees are still not budging an inch demanding a time frame and a formal order from the government.

Minister for Health and Medical Education Wednesday, while replying to supplementary questions of legislators during the ongoing session of Legislative Assembly said that that government has conceded maximum demands of the NHM employees, even as their demand for regularization of services is being looked into.

The government had formed a four member committee in September last year to look into the demands of National Health Mission (NHM) employees. The report, as per the minister, has presented its report and its recommendations, in which the committee has also suggested phase-wise regularization of NHM employees, are under consideration of the government.

“The committee has recommended phased regularization of the employees starting with 1020 employees” the Minister informed the House, adding “the government is considering the recommendations of the committee.”

On the other hand, the striking NHM employees are not ready to buy the phase-wise regularization process put forth by the committee, rather, are demanding a particular time frame and formal government order in this regard.

“Fine that the government is considering the recommendations put forth by the committee, but we are demanding a particular time frame and a formal government order in this regard,” said NHM employees Spokesperson, Rouf Ahmad.

If the government is saying that it will start with the regularization of 1020 such employees, they should come up with a time frame, like until when all such employees will be regularized, he said.

“Come up with a time frame and issue a government order, and we will call off our strike and will resume our duties,” he added.

The Minister while talking about the financial implications of regularizing all such employees said “In its report the committee has put the number of NHM employees at 8402 and their regularization, in one go, would have a financial implication of Rs 224 crore on the state exchequer.”

Regularization of 1020 employees alone is going to have financial implications of Rs 27.41 crore on the state exchequer.

The tussle between the NHM employees and the government, as of now, is taking a huge toll on the healthcare services in the peripheries, with putting on additional workload on the regular employees working there.

The Minister, while praising the contribution and dedication of NHM employees, and urging them to resume their duties said that earlier 3 months maternity leave was granted in favour of the female employees without salary, “but now they avail the leave along with the perks, and also will be entitled to EPF, Accidental Insurance and other incentives,” he said.

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