Report of the correspondent of Mazdoor Ekta Committee
Nurses across Madhya Pradesh are on an indefinite strike for their 10-point demands since the afternoon of 10th July 2023. The strike is being led by the Nursing Officers Association.
Tens of thousands of nurses working in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh and district hospitals across Khandwa, Mandsaur, Satna, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Vidisha, Khargone are on strike.
Nurses are staging dharnas at district hospitals and taking out rallies at some places, In support of their demands. In other places they are taking out militant demonstrations. They are condemning the anti-labour policies of the government and raising slogans in support of their rights as workers.
Before going on strike, the Nursing Officers’ Association had warned the government, in a memorandum dated 3rd July, that they would go on an indefinite strike if their demands were not met. They registered their protest by going on strike for one hour on 8th July.
The Nursing Officers Association says that demands like pay discrepancy, promotion and recruitment to new posts have been pending since a long time. Now the nurses are making their point to the government through phased campaign to get their demands accepted.
Regarding the phased campaign, the association said that a memorandum was given to the Chief Minister on 3rd July 2023. The matter was conveyed to the department through a press conference on 4th July 4. On 5th and 6th July, the nurses worked one hour and two hours more, respectively, over and above their duties, to draw attention to their campaign. They held a district level meeting on 7th July. On 8th July, an hour-long demonstration was held at the district level.
The main demands of the agitated nurses are as follows:
- The salary discrepancy of nursing category should be removed. Nursing Officer pay scale should be increased from Rs.2800 on Grade Pay to Rs.4200 on Grade Pay. The grade pay of Senior Nursing Officer/Tutor should be increased from Rs.3600 to Rs.4600. Matron Grade Pay should be increased from Rs.4200 to Rs.4800.
- Night emergency medical allowance of Rs.500 per night is given to the doctors of the health department. Nurses and other paramedical staff attached with them should also be given medical allowance of Rs 300 per night.
- In Gwalior and Rewa Medical College GNM Nursing has been given three increments and B.Sc. Nursing has been given four. The same criteria should apply to the remaining medical colleges.
- The stipend of nursing students should be increased from Rs.3000 to Rs.8000.
- The benefit of the Seventh pay scale should be given from January 2016 to the employees working under the autonomous institutions in the medical education department of the state.
- Probation period of three years and 70 per cent, 80 per cent, 90 per cent honorarium rule should be abolished and 100 per cent honorarium should be given as before, on selection for the posts of third and fourth class employees in direct recruitment in government service.
- Old Pension Scheme (OPS) should be implemented.