Employees at Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital call off strike

Hyderabad, July 15 (IANS) The outsourced employees at the government-run Gandhi Hospital called off their indefinite strike on Wednesday after the Telangana government assured them of meeting their demands.
After successful talks with the top officials of the Health Department, the agitating staff, including sanitation workers and security guards, called off their protest.
The striking nurses were assured that their salary will be increased from Rs 17,500 to Rs 25,000 and a daily allowance of Rs 750 will be paid to those who are on duty in Covid-19 wards.
The officials also assured that a daily incentive of Rs 300 would be given to class IV employees. They will also be given duty for only 15 days in a month.
The outsourced employees were assured that they would be shifted to contract basis.
Following the assurance, the staff announced that they are calling off the strike and resumed their duties.
Over 700 staff had launched an indefinite strike on Wednesday morning, demanding regularisation of services and a salary hike.
The strike impacted the outpatient services and caused severe inconvenience to patients at the hospital, which is designated by the government as the Centre of Excellence for Covid care where critical cases are being treated.
The indefinite strike began after four days of protest by the employees in various forms to press for their demands.
Over 200 nurses have been demanding a hike in the salary and regularisation of services.
The nurses say that their demand is justified as they are risking their lives to render the services in the times of Covid-19 pandemic.
Five contract nurses were recently infected by the virus while discharging their duties.
Many nurses say they were appointed on contract basis in 2007 and they are still being paid Rs 17,000 while nurses appointed in 2018 were drawing salaries of over Rs 25,000.
Gandhi Hospital has seen a series of protests by various sections of the employees over the last three months.
Junior doctors had also staged protests on two occasions protesting attacks by the relatives of COVID patients.

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