Thursday, 6 October 2011

Employees' strike hits Arogya Kavacha ambulance service

Employees demand eight-hour shift
Salaries not paid on time, they allege

Grouse:Arogya Kavacha employees staging a demonstration in Mysore on Saturday.
MYSORE: The Arogya Kavacha 108 ambulance services were affected in the district on Saturday when employees struck work and staged a demonstration outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner demanding that their demands be fulfilled. Instead of their designated locations, the ambulances were parked outside the Deputy Commissioner's office. The strike was called off later in the day.

As many as 22 ambulances in the district went off the road in response to the call for a Statewide agitation demanding higher wages and holidays. The long-pending demand of transferring personnel to their respective home districts had not been fulfilled despite repeated requests, they charged. They also demanded an eight-hour shift instead of a twelve-hour shift, overtime wages for services rendered beyond eight hours, and basic facilities at their stations.
In view of the effects of the strike on healthcare in rural areas, the district administration swung into action and urged the drivers to resume work with the promise that their demands would be conveyed to the State Government.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Betsurmath spoke to the protesters, explaining the problems faced by patients in rural areas. He said that the Government would discuss the fulfilment of their demands and urged them to rush to their designated stations.
Alternative arrangements would be made if they did not withdraw the agitation, he said, in response to which the protesters called off their strike around 3 p.m. The emergency-response service was launched in the State in a phased manner in 2008.
Harassment alleged
Chamarajanagar Correspondent writes:

Several hundred Arogya Kavacha 108 personnel here on Saturday took out a procession urging that the Government take steps to prevent their harassment by higher medical officials. They also put forth several demands.
They submitted a memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner Yogesh demanding job security.
They also alleged that the private organisation with which the Government had signed MoUs to provide the services in the districts were not paying their salaries on time, and also harassing them.

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