Views & Reviews
Appeal to Support the Rights of Nurses
The sacrifices of the frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19, particularly the nurses and the doctors, have been extraordinary world over.
In the middle of the pandemic, the frontline workers in Nagaland, especially the contractual nurses, are at the receiving end of the state government’s insensitivity that may even be interpreted as an offence to a court’s order.
The grievances of the contractual nurses stem from the fact that their workload is no less than the other nurses, and yet they continue to be highly underpaid – as low as 1/5th of the salary as compared to their regular counterparts. It is learnt that ANM and GNM nurses on contract get as low as INR 10,000/- INR 12,000/-. Even wage labourers get more!
This disparity is being felt most acute during the pandemic period where the majority of the aggrieved nurses despite the protestations of their family members have risked their lives and bravely shouldered on their responsibility.
Left with no option, some of the nurses have reportedly sought relief in terms of pay enhancement or to resign if their demand is not met.
The pleas made by these nurses has been met with intimidation and threat to blacklist from any further employments in future if the notification dated 4th June 2020, issued by the Mission Director, National Health Mission, Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) is any indication to go by.
The department seems to have been officially apprised of the matter several times, but as per the 4th June notification, it seems to be treating its health workers as mere employees.
According to the Supreme Court of India order in 2011 and the subsequent recommendations of the MoHFW, India, even nurses serving in private hospitals cannot be paid less than INR 20,000 per month.
So we have a most insensitive and a possible contempt of court case where instead of implementing the Hon’ble SC order, the Mission Director has threatened the employees (read nurses) to return to work within 7 days failing which none of the employees, as per the notification, will be considered for any future employment in the government.
In this present discriminatory system,while powerful and influential organisations can demand and get their way, who will stand for marginalised and powerless sections of our society. Shouldn’t the government use Covid-19 cess fund to cover the increase in salary of the nurses during the pandemic period?
We appeal to everyone to support the rights of the nurses to a just and fair salary for their work.
The Naga Rising