Explained: Why are AIIMS nurses protesting?

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

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





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

About 5,000 AIIMS nurses were at an indefinite strike since Monday in the afternoon to support a number of requirements, including a lack of clarity of their salary structure under the Sixth Wage Commission. Despite requests from the administration to continue work given the situation of Covid-19, nurses refused to give up.

What are their salary requirements?

In a letter to the Director of AIIMS dated November 13, the nurses cited 23 unresolved claims. Most important among them is the requirement to address the anomaly of the Sixth Wage Commission in relation to their wages. Nurses said their salary was set at 18,460 rupees a month, but they receive 17,140 rupees. They said their demand is not a pay rise, rather that they should be paid, which is mentioned under the Sixth Wage Commission. They wrote to the administration last month, saying they will go on indefinite strike if the problems are not resolved soon.

What are their other requirements?

The nurses are also protesting the reservation based on gender at AIIMS, which requires that 80 percent of the nursing staff be female. Nurses say the quota leaves many skilled men unemployed. 📣 Follow Explicit Explained in Telegram

Their other requirements relate to the pension scheme, restructuring of frameworks, qualification pay and modifications in job description, among others.

The hospital also decided to outsource nurses on a contractual basis, which further angered the nurses. The nurses said earlier candidates had to sit for an entrance test to be recruited. Recruiting nurses on a contractual basis, they say, will have an effective impact on the superior quality of care provided by AIIMS.

What did the director of AIIMS address to the nurses?

On Monday in a video message to the nursing union, director of AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria, called on all nurses not to strike during the pandemic.

“The nurses’ union filed 23 demands and almost all the demands were met by the AIIMS government and the government. There is one requirement they insisted on, and this is basically a perceived anomaly in the fixing of the salary, with respect to the 6th CPC. it seems inappropriate that when the country is fighting a pandemic and we are fighting for our near and dear people to save lives and we know we need to work a few more months, and the vaccine might provide a solution, unfortunately, currently the nurses union is on strike, said Dr. Guleria.

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