NHM workers  dissatisfied; strike in Karnataka to continue

The protesting employees have rejected the proposal put forth by the state government and are demanding regularisation of their services instead. 


The NHM employees have stated that they will not return to work as they remain dissatisfied with the government’s response. In a recent order issued by the state government on March 4, 2023, it was announced that the salary hike will only be applicable to in-source or contractual employees hired under the NHM, and not to outsourced employees.

The order specified that the one-time hike of 15 percent will apply to those with a monthly basic remuneration of less than ?20,000 at the time of joining, as well as medical officers with over five years of continuous service.

For NHM contractual specialists, the hike will vary based on their years of service. It will be 5 per cent for those with three to five years of service, 10 per cent for those with 5-10 years of service, and for those who have service of 10 years and above will get a 15 per cent hike. 

Vishwaradhya H Y, president,  Karnataka State Health and Medical Education Department Contractual and Outsource Employees Association, has stated that they will continue their indefinite strike on Monday, which could disrupt services in government-run hospitals and healthcare centres.

The government had ordered a 15 per cent hike in wages, effective from April 1, based on the recommendations of the PN Srinivasachari Committee report. This was one of the demands of the association when they protested in February. 

However, the association is dissatisfied with the exclusion of many members, as 20-30 per cent of NHM employees will not receive the raise since contract employees who do not fall into these categories and outsourced employees have been left out. They are also seeking arrears from 2021 when the Srinivasachari report was released.

Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka Health Minister has stated that the government is committed to the health of employees and the 15 percent long pending salary hike demand has been fulfilled. He had previously assured that they are having discussions regarding the demands of the protesting employees. 

The Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme, routine immunisation, and tobacco control, including some other health programmes are impacted by the indefinite protest.

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