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Maharashtra: Nurses’ strike affects Mumbai’s JJ Hosp; most outfits stay away from stir

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The strike call given by a union of nurses attached to government-run hospitals in Maharashtra evoked mixed response on the first day on Saturday with most of the other outfits in the sector maintaining a distance from the stir.

However, officials admitted that some hospitals did face problems, including postponement of some surgeries.

While surgeries like insertion of stents were postponed in state-run JJ Hospital here, which was considerably affected, there was little impact of the strike call by the Maharashtra State Nurses Association on other facilities like St George, Cama and Albless and Gokuldas Tejpal hospitals in the city, they said.

They added that most of the nurses who are part of MSNA are from JJ Hospital, due to which the premier facility in Byculla area was affected much more than others.

Speaking to PTI, Sumitra Tote, MSNA general secretary, said, “We had called a strike on May 27 and 28. However, there was no concrete assurance from the state government, hence we decided to continue our strike further.

“We are completely against the recruitment of Class IV staff and nurses on contract basis, as there is no job guarantee and the state will have no control over contractors who are known to pay less than stipulated wages. The state government has not cleared allowances of several months of nurses,” Tote added.

She said salary increments are linked to the education of the nursing staff, with higher the educational qualification, sooner the increments.

“The Union government has already issued orders for the same for its staff but the state government has not implemented it,” Tote alleged.

However, a senior functionary of Maharashtra State Government Hospital Nurses Federation said, “A meeting was held a couple of weeks ago between representatives of nurses federation and government officials regarding clearing of dues, opposition to contract based recruitment, etc. In fact, the state government has assured us it will not go ahead with contract based recruitment.”

The MSGHNF leader claimed some dues of the nurses have also been cleared, adding that all unions had decided not to go on strike post this meeting.

“However, one union decided to go on strike. Their demands are valid but we have decided not to be part of the stir at the moment,” the functionary said.

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