80,000 Outsourced Health Employees in UP Not Paid For Months
Lucknow: Around 80,000 employees outsourced through XEAM Venture, Mishra Security, Principal Security, Jeet Security and Avani Paridhi and working at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RML), Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI), state-level government hospitals and autonomous hospitals in Uttar Pradesh (UP) have not been paid salaries in the last few months.
Medical educational institutes and health departments have outsourced employees for several posts, including nurses, technicians, computer operators, ward boys, sweepers, plumbers and security guards. These staff are paid salaries ranging from Rs 9,200 to Rs 16,376 per month.
“This is not the first time that our salaries haven’t been disbursed. We usually get our salaries by the 15th of every month—but August is about to get over and we haven’t received our salaries for March,” an outsourced employee posted in Sant Kabir Nagar requesting anonymity told Newsclick adding that “despite repeated requests, they haven’t been paid”.
A lab technician posted at the medical college in Prayagraj said, “Due to the delay in salary payment, I am facing difficulty in feeding my family. Like me, there are a large number of outsourced employees in utter distress in Sangam city.”
Outsourced employees in Bahraich said that they have not been paid salaries for the past three months.
However, the agencies through which these employees were hired claim that the departments concerned have not released the budget for this financial year.
Sachita Nand Mishra, state secretary, Sanyukt Swasthya Outsourcing/Samvida Karmchari Sangh, told Newsclick, “In Lucknow alone, there are around 12,000 employees outsourced at different hospitals and medical institutes, including KGMU, SGPGI, RML and state-level government hospitals. As per a court order, we should get salary by the 7th of every month but we hardly get paid on time.”
According to Mishra, outsourced employees in Lucknow get “salaries late by two to three months but those posted in Prayagraj, Basti, Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Amroha and other districts are paid late by five to seven months. This has been happening for the last several years”.
Pointing out the discrepancies in the salary structure, Mishra said, “While nurses appointed through the National Health Mission (NHM) are paid Rs 20,500 at the time of joining, outsourced employees doing the same job get close to Rs 18,150. Similarly, technicians and data entry operators under NHM are paid Rs 18,000 while outsourced employees get between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000.”
Class IV outsourced employees are paid only Rs 7,000-Rs 8,200 while staff (ward boys/nannies) working under NHM for the same job get Rs 12,024, the union alleged. “We have been raising the issue of discrepancies in salaries before the government for a long time and have even mentioned it to our local MPs/MLAs as well but nothing has happened,” Mishra added.
Ritesh Mall, state president, Outsourced Employees Union, demanded a hike in salaries. “If the government in a neighbouring state, like Haryana and Delhi, can pay full salary to outsourced employees, then why is the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh not doing so?” he asked.
“Apart from full salary, NHM employees in Haryana, Delhi and Punjab are also paid dearness allowance on a par with that of government employees,” Mall claimed adding that state’s health sector runs on outsourcing “yet they are deprived of benefits and perks”. He also alleged that NHM employees in UP get 5% salary increment and 10 % loyalty bonus every year.
Outsourced employees said that the government has been ignoring their demands despite their vital contribution to achieving the state’s health targets. They claimed that they had already met the state health minister but the government did not pay any attention to their demand.
The union leaders announced that if their demands are not met, they would soon hold a state-wide protest.
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