Vol. XL No. 37 September 11, 2016

CITU Denounces Invoking ESMA on Nurses’ Strike

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on September 3, expressed serious concern over continuance of countrywide strike by Govt Nurses under the leadership of  of All India  Govt Nurses’ Federation since 2ND September 2016 with the Govt of India indulging in complete inaction in sorting out the long pending demands of the Nurses of Central Govt Hospitals. As many as 20000 nurses of Govt Hospitals including those run by MCD have joined the strike. The demands are related to pay and allowances of the Nurses for which the Federation have been pursuing since long and they have been given concrete assurances by the Govt based on which the strike was deferred at least twice. But the assurances have not been implemented.
The CITU is dismayed over the inaction of the Govt on the vital demands of the Nurses, serving in the most sensitive sector thereby creating a situation of stalemate. CITU also denounces invoking of ESMA against the striking Nurses instead of taking meaningful initiative for settling the issues with their Federation through negotiation.
The CITU demands upon the Govt to withdraw ESMA on the striking Nurses and initiate dialogue with the Federation for sorting out their long pending issues amicably and ending the stalemate.
From India News Network (INN)
New Delhi, September 5: AIDWA condemns the callous indifference of the Modi Government to the valid and justified demands put forth by Government nurses, under the leadership of the All India Government Nurses’ Federation. We wish to point out that the nationwide strike call since Sept. 2nd 2016 is a direct consequence of this refusal by the Central Government to consider their long pending demands.
The nurses have been raising their demands relating to their pay anomalies and denial of allowances which are legitimately their due for a long while now. They too are exposed to grave risk in the course of their duties, but are not eligible for risk allowance; they work night hours but cannot claim night allowance, though doctors may do so. Many such discriminatory issues have been taken up by them over time, but despite repeated assurances, they have been denied these rights.  The strike calls given earlier had been deferred on the basis of the assurances, which have proved to be hollow. Now, the nurses are being punished for claiming their rights and are being penalized by using the ESMA against them.
AIDWA would like to highlight the difficult circumstances under which the nurses – a vast majority of whom are women- are carrying out their service oriented tasks. The Government has to acknowledge their claim to being treated fairly, and being paid equally. Such discrimination, which is also linked to a patriarchal mindset that does not value “care work” provided by women, cannot be allowed to continue.
AIDWA expresses support for the striking nurses, whose numbers have increased to over 20,000. A delegation comprising of P.K Sreemathi, M.P (Lok Sabha), K.K Shailaja, Minister for Health and Social Welfare Kerala and (AIDWA National Secretary) met the federation and extended their solidarity for the cause. We demand that the ESMA be withdrawn immediately. Instead of blaming the nurses and blackmailing them for the crisis that erupts in hospitals without their presence, the Government must step in and take measures to address their concerns, so that the patients coming to the hospitals for medical treatment do not suffer the consequences of its apathy towards the legitimate demands put forth by the nurses.