‘We Want Transparency in Transfers’ say Govt Nurses in Tamil Nadu
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Medical Recruitment Board (MRB) nurses in Tamil Nadu have alleged that the consultation meeting for the transfer of jobs was not held in a transparent manner. The consultation meeting between the various directorates under the Tamil Nadu Health and Family Department and the nurses recruited through the MRB was held from November 20 to 22.
Most of the vacancies were not mentioned, and the names of many of the applicants were not listed, alleged the Tamil Nadu Government MRB Nurses Empowerment Association (TNMNEA). The association urged the state government to rectify the vacancy list and to re-conduct the consultation meeting.
“We welcome the consultation meeting for job transfer of nurses working in government hospitals, but the lack of transparency in the procedure is deplorable,” said N Subin, the association's general secretary, in a statement.
The MRB nurses have alleged that vacancies have been hidden in the job transfer consultation for registered nurses working in government medical colleges and hospitals in Tamil Nadu.
“Only a small number of vacancies were listed at the time of consultation, not all the existing vacancies,” said Subin.
The association noted that only two posts were shown in the Perundurai Medical College Hospital in Erode out of 80 vacancies. Similarly, six out of 27 vacancies in Sivagangai, nine out of 45 vacancies in Tiruvannamalai, and 16 out of 56 vacancies in Dharmapuri district were listed in the consultation, observed the TNMNEA.
“Anywhere around 1,000 to 1,500 available vacancies were not displayed during the consultation. In the southern districts, there were hardly any vacancies,” said C K Sujatha, the Vice President of TNMNEA.
“Not filling vacancies can have dire repercussions. The workload on existing nurses would mount up, and it would reflect in the quality of service. In some hospitals, a nurse is currently doing the job of five nurses. The nurses' job is an essential service, and such risks should be avoided,” she added.
‘APPLICANTS NOT LISTED’
The TNMNEA stated that the names of many nurses who applied for transfers were not included in the list during the consultation meeting.
“Nurses working for more than eight years were hoping for relief in the form of transfers. They hoped they could relocate to their hometowns and live with their families, but their names not being listed was a shock for many,” said Sujatha.
The consultation meeting was held for nurses to receive Rs 18,000 as salary; they arrived at this amount after many stages of struggles. Only nurses who have worked for more than five years would be able to receive this salary.
“We were deputed to various districts during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was deputed to Chennai for many months, I lived away from my family. If the nurses are provided transfers to the place of their choice on the basis of seniority, they will work more comfortably. Their expenses would reduced, practical difficulties would be sorted, they would be mentally at peace, and the service would be better,” said Sujatha.
“We are providing the best care; we are only expecting the state to provide us compensation in return for our contribution,” she added.
‘HOLD CONSULTATION AGAIN’
The nurses were happy that the consultation meeting for transfers was held after a long time, but they were distressed because of the flawed consultation process. They have demanded the state to hold the consultation meeting again transparently.
“Majority of the nurses returned disappointed with no jobs to choose from. This incident has brought disrepute to the government. The minister of health and family welfare, the secretary of the department should intervene and resolve the grievances,” said Subin
“Only if the present vacancies are listed and filled through transfers would vacancies open up for new recruitment. If the state refuses to acknowledge existing vacancies, new recruitment will not open. This is a means towards contractualisation of work,” said Sujatha.
Following the transfers, consultation meetings would be held for the promotion of more than 500 permanent nurses to level two.
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