Patients who visited the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for out-patient consultations on Monday morning faced inconvenience as around 350 contract staff boycotted duties.
NIMS Technical and Non-Technical Contract Employees Union has four demands, including Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) pending from October-2019 to be paid, promotion of around 60 people employed in unskilled category to be promoted into skilled category, 35 casual leaves per annum to be granted. They have called off the strike after holding talks with NIMS administration.
The employees work in out-patient (OP) counters, in technical posts such as gas room technician, x-ray technician, pump operators, ministerial staff, and other positions. The employees in protest said that the institute’s administration has earlier agreed to fulfil their demands, and that they have been waiting for over four months
They have served notice of strike on Saturday in which it was mentioned that the employees will boycott duties from Monday.
As they have boycotted duties on Monday morning, patients who have visited the hospital for OP services had to stay put in lines for two to three hours. One of the patients, Mahender Reddy from Jangaon, who was waiting in a serpentine queue at Millennium Block from around 7 a.m., said that he had been waiting for over three hours. Chandu from Siddipet, standing before Mr Mahender corroborated saying he too has been waiting from early morning. Patients in OP Block too expressed similar distress.
Meanwhile, leaders of the union held talks with the hospital’s in-charge director S Rammurthi, medical superintendent N Satyanarayana, and others.
Addressing the employees after the talks, general secretary of the union, U Ramesh, said that they are calling off the strike temporarily as Dr Rammurti has assured them to implement their demands including payment of DA arrears, and some days time was sought for another round of talks.
Tendering apology to the patients who were put to discomfort, Mr Ramesh said that the employees have been facing issues from the past two years. All employees on the protest have resumed duties thereafter.
When contacted, the administrative officials said that they have assured to examine the demands and know pros and cons.