Jammu, Jan 25: Close to nine thousand employees working under centrally sponsored National Health Mission continued to strike work and hold protests for the 12th consecutive day today, demanding redressal of their grievances.
Hundreds of employees assembled at Press Club Jammu and raised slogans in favour of their demands including regularization of services, implementation of equal pay for equal work orders apart from accord to social security benefits.
Employees from across Jammu region and of their counterparts from Kashmir valley reached the venue early in the morning and continued their protests till afternoon hours.
“We want to go back to work but for that the government has to pay heed to our pleas”.
It may be worth mentioning that the employees had held protests and strike last year as well and had called off the strike after written assurances from then Health Minister Bali Bhagat. However, the employees say that the commitments are yet to see the light of the day despite passage of one year since.
“At this stage of life when we have dedicated 12 years of our service to the department there is no other alternative. We need a secure future as we cannot apply for fresh jobs or think of a career change at this stage”, said All J&K NHM Employees Association President Jammu division Rohit Seth.
He added that Haryana state has already implemented a policy for giving equal pay to NHM employees at par with other employees. “Even contractual employees in J&K state have been given the benefit of minimum of scale pay under SRO 384. We appeal the Governor to provide justice to us”, he added.
The employees said the Governor Satya Pal Malik has assured them that their just demands will be fulfilled and a meeting to consider the same shall be held shortly. “We are extremely hopeful of a positive outcome of the meeting and hope that we shall not have to continue our protests”, said MuneerAndrabi, President of the Association’s Kashmir province, who also addressed the protestors.
At the venue, the employees raised slogans in favour of their demands and resolved to continue their protest till fulfillment of their demands.
Meanwhile, similar protests were held across Kashmir valley on Thursday, to seek redressal of employees’ demands. Earlier on Wednesday, the employees Association had extended its strike call by another 72 hours.