New Delhi, Feb 16: Members of All India Government Nurses Federation will go on mass casual leave on February 26 as part of their ongoing agitation for a hike in their salaries and other allowances.
The Federation has warned the government that work would be halted at every public hospital from March 15 onwards if their demands are not met. AIIMS nurses' union has also extended support to the strike and 50 nurses from the institute participated in the protest held at Jantar Mantar today.
"We have extended support to the strike called by All India Government Nurses Federation and on February 26, all of us will be on mass casual leave," Biju Kesri, President of AIIMS nurses' Union, said. Federation members said they wanted to discuss the issue with the government but were not being given an appointment.
"We have been trying to get appointment with the Health Minister but are not being given time. Also, they themselves have never tried to contact us over the issue," Federation's Secretary General G K Khurana said.
"We are protesting against the retrograde recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. We are demanding that the entry pay grade for staff nurses should be enhanced to Rs 5,400 from the existing Rs 4,600. Also the nursing allowance should be enhanced by Rs 7,800.
Risk allowance and night duty allowances should be given to all nurses as it is given to all other government employees. "We deal with the deadly infections daily but we are not provided enough risk allowance. If the demands are not met, we will go on an indefinite strike from March 15," Khurana said. Nurses across the country are already on a relay hunger strike since 12 till February 27 over the issue.