Ward boys at JJ Hospital go on strike

Jan 02, 2013, 21:13 IST | Naveen Nair

Nearly 640 ward boys at the JJ Group of Hospitals and an overall 2,500 class IV workers at thirteen other state-run hospitals across Maharashtra have started a two-day strike since Tuesday morning.

The huge number of ‘badli kamgars’ (temporary staff) have gone on strike demanding they be employed on a permanent basis.

Class IV workers belonging to the Maharashtra Vaidyakiya Shikshan Vibhag Badli Karmachari Sanghtana joined the strike till Wednesday evening. The strike was temporarily called off at JJ Hospital after a meeting was held between the Class IV temporary workers and the Dean of the hospital, Dr T P Lahane.

Ward boys from State-run J J, Cama, St George’s and G T Hospital did not report to work on Wedensday. A total of 2,500 ward boys employed on a temporary basis across state run hospitals in Maharashtra also joined the strike.

“Patient care was not affected due to the strike as the permanent staff filled in by working in double shifts,” said Dr Rekha Daver, head of gynaecology department at JJ hospital. “The surgeries went off smoothly as none of them had to be delayed,” she added.

The basic pay difference between a permanent and temporary Class IV worker is up to Rs.15, 000, said a worker on condition of anonymity. Another meeting will be held between the ward boys and Dr Lahane on Thursday morning where the issue will be sorted out.

“They (the badli kaamgaar) are workers who replace employees who are on leave and have been demanding permanent jobs at the hospitals since a long time. But the decision has to be taken by the government. I have anyway written to the concerned authorities about this,” said Dr TP Lahane, head of JJ group of hospitals.

The nurses belonging to one of the unions at KEM Hospital went on flash strike in the early hours on Wednesday to protest misbehaviour by a class IV worker against a nurse.

Early morning, some nurses assembled within the hospital compound and demanded that the worker apologise to the nurse. The nurses also wanted the police to file a complaint against the worker. The dean of KEM hospital had to intervene before the nurses went back to work. The police haven't filed a complaint.

The hospital authorities however, said that there were no glitches in the working of the hospital.

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