Explained: Why do AIIMS nurses protest?

Written by Ashna Butani, edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: December 15, 2020, 6:21:24 PM

Members of the AIIMS Nurses Union raise slogans during their open-ended strike in New Delhi (PTI Photo / Atul Yadav) (PTI15-12-2020_000098A)

Around 5,000 AIIMS nurses were on one unlimited strike since Monday Afternoon in support of a number of claims including lack of clarity on their pay structure under the Sixth Wages Commission. Despite the administration’s request to continue work given the situation in Covid-19, the nurses have refused to let up.

What do you want from the salary?

In a letter to the director of AIIMS dated November 13th, the nurses listed 23 unresolved claims. One of the most important is the request to address the Sixth Wages Commission’s anomaly with their salaries. Nurses said their salary was set at Rs 18,460 per month, but they are paid Rs 17,140. They said their request was not a raise, but that they would be paid, which is mentioned in the Sixth Wages Commission. They wrote to the administration last month saying that if the issues were not resolved soon, they would go on strike indefinitely.

What are your other demands?

The nurses also protest against the gender reservation at AIIMS, according to which 80 percent of the nursing staff must be female. Nurses say the rate makes many skilled men unemployed. 📣 Follow the express explained in the telegram

Her other demands relate, among other things, to the pension system, the restructuring of the cadres, qualification allowances and changes in the job description.

The hospital has also decided to outsource nurses on a contractual basis, which has further angered the nurses. The nurses said previous candidates had to sit for an entrance test to be recruited. The contractual recruitment of nurses will adversely affect the superior quality of health care provided by AIIMS.

What did the AIIMS director appeal to the nurses?

In a video message to the nursing union on Monday, AIIMS director Dr. Randeep Guleria to all nurses not to go on strike during the pandemic.

“The Nurses Union made 23 demands, and almost all of them were met by the AIIMS administration and the government. There is a demand that they insisted on and that is basically a perceived anomaly in the setting of pay as far as the 6th CPC is concerned. However, it seems inappropriate for the country to fight a pandemic and we are fighting for our loved ones and loved ones to save lives and we know we have several more months to work and unfortunately the vaccine can provide a solution. At that point the Nurses Union went on strike, ”said Dr. Guleria.

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