‘5 months since we got salaries’: Health workers from AP tribal agency area protest

Officials claim a technical glitch in the treasury software has caused the delay in salary reimbursement.
‘5 months since we got salaries’: Health workers from AP tribal agency area protest
‘5 months since we got salaries’: Health workers from AP tribal agency area protest
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Their salaries delayed for five months, contract health workers from West Godavari's K.R Puram Agency area are agitated at the Andhra Pradesh government.

There are as many as 234 health workers (regular and contract) in six mandals of KR Puram's (ITDA) and they cater to a population of more than 1,11,000, including 47% of tribals at PHCs (Primary Health Centres). 

The 234 health workers are categorized into Staff Nurses, SNO (Senior Nursing Orderly), MNO (Male Nursing Orderly) and Assistant Nurses (ANM). While most of the regular workers are not facing any problems with salary disbursement, contract health workers allege delay in payment of their salaries.

Speaking to TNM, Ramachandra Prasad, who works at LND Peta PHC as MNO said that they had not got salaries for five months. "I was supposed to get Rs 12,000 per month, not a single rupee has been paid till now, it is tough to survive,” he said.

He further alleged, "In March, we were told that we will get a hike of Rs 6000. Forget the hike, we are now struggling to get the old dues."

While around 20 nursing orderly staff (male and women) are facing this delay in getting salaries, the situation for staff nurses too is not good. 

A contract staff nurse is entitled to get Rs 24,000 basic pay per month, but many have not received salaries for months.

According to District Health Department authorities, 100 workers are on contract while 30 serving in 14 Primary Health Centers (PHC) across 6 mandals have been outsourced.

K Parvathi, a fresher who joined LND Peta PHC as staff nurse in December confirmed the delay in salary payment.

She said, "We have met with the officials, they're saying it is being sorted out. But there is no any concrete assurance as to when they'll pay us”.

Demanding speedy payment she said, "We are asking the government to pay what is due to us, how can they delay it like this? How can we survive without getting salaries for months?”.

Many health workers said that they have stalled going on indefinite strikes, despite the long wait for salaries, only because the area is known for medical emergencies.

CITU Polavaram Division Secretary Venkat Rao, speaking to TNM said, "It is unfair to make them wait for months for their salaries, officials should release total dues immediately considering their situation."

Harendriya Prasad IAS, KR Puram ITDA Project Officer confirming the delay in salary payment said, "Many were paid their salaries on time, there is a technical discrepancy in paying the salaries to some workers. It has been taken to higher officials, and the problem will be solved soon."

He further added, "Several contract workers were recruited recently, the files relating to their salary allocations is with the Finance ministry."

The officer also claimed that a glitch in a software that deals with treasuries was one of the reasons behind delay in disbursements of salaries for a few.

When TNM approached Deputy District Medical and Health Officer Dr Vamsilal Rathod asking what if the contract workers will go on strike, he said they have been asked not to. “We are in touch with the workers and have told them not to go for a strike since it will be solved soon".


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