Coal town Covid health workers demand salary dues
More than 150 outsourced lab technician, lab attendants and ward boys deputed at different Covid testing points including at Dhanbad Railway Station, Interstate Bus Terminus at Bartand, Interstate border as well as in six mobile teams have been deprived of their salaries for the last two months due to lack of allotment from the state government.
A group of over 15 technicians, part of a mobile vaccination team of the district operating from Sadar Hospital of Dhanbad on Wednesday carried out a demonstration at the office of Dhanbad Civil Surgeon, Shyamkishore Kant demanding immediate release of their salary.
One of the protesters, Dhanraj Kumar Paswan, claimed they are getting irregular salaries ever since their joining in May 2020 and resultantly facing a lot of difficulty in managing the family expenses and sometimes even face difficulty in managing the auto fare to reach the workplace.
Echoing his sentiments, another lab attendant deputed as part of one of the mobile Covid testing team requesting anonymity said, “We are getting a meagre salary of Rs 7,400 per month carrying out Covid testing in the covid hotspot zones and other sensitive places like railway station, bus terminus risking our life but instead of getting incentives being provided to other health workers we are even deprived of our regular salary.”
“Why can‘t a system be developed for the disbursement of incentives ahead of every month so that the regular payment of our salary be ensured,” said a lab attendant and added seven members of the his family including his wife, two children, elderly parents and a college going younger brother are dependent on his salary.
Raju Mahto, state secretary of Jharkhand Para Medical Sangh said, “The non-payment of salary of working staff shows the negligence of the government towards the health workers giving their service during the time of pandemic risking their life.”
Subhash Sharma, Manager of Frontline Business Solution Pvt Ltd said, “We are facing fund crunch due to lack of allotment from government since March this year and though we made salary payment from March to May but due to lack of funds we can’t make payment for two months.”
“We had a talk with the health department officials in Dhanbad who assured provision of fund soon and the pending salary is likely to be disbursed by end of this month,” said Sharma