Anomalies in pay revision, arrears due since 2016: Kerala doctors go on hunger strike
Kerala: Demanding to rectify anomalies in the pay revision of the college lecturers, a section of government medical college doctors led by the Kerala Government Medical College Teachers Association (KGMCTA) and the Kerala Government Postgraduate Medical Teachers Association (KGPMTA) staged a one-day relay hunger strike.
As per a recent PTI report, KGMCTA called for the strike alleging that the government had not given any assurance on providing arrears while implementing pay revision.
Demanding immediate implementation of salary revision order, allowance provision, and other requirements for the teachers in Government Medical College in Kerala, the protesting doctors stated that the anomalies were in the pay structure of entry care doctors, resulting in a shortfall of around Rs 15,000 for those who joined service after 2016.
KGMCTA elaborated that the pay revision, which was due in 2016, was done only in 2020 and the government had assured that the wage revision would have a retrospective effect from January 1, 2016. But,it had not given any commitment on arrears.
The organization demanded that the government should take immediate steps to ensure that the teachers of the government medical college are not dragged down the path of the strike.
" It is trying to bring this need to the attention of the government through peace struggles so as not to cause any inconvenience to the public seeking treatment in hospitals," the statement read.
''Medical college teachers are fighting for the dignity of their profession. The doctors have been in the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. As responsible healthcare professionals, we are staging the protest without causing inconvenience to the public. Our demand is to provide arrears from January 1, 2016,'' president of the Ernakulam unit of the KGMCTA Dr Unmesh told reporters.
Meanwhile, the state president of the Kerala Government Medical College Teachers' Association (KGMCTA), Dr. Binoy said that the organization would be forced to go on an indefinite strike from February 9 if the government pretends not to see the protests and doesn't take immediate steps to end the strike.
" The government alone would be fully responsible for all the hardships that could be caused to the public by that strike, which would halt all other services except essential-emergency-COVID treatment", reads the statement.
The KGMCTA has been staging a statewide protest for the past few days demanding redressal of service and pay gaps.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that KGMCTA and KGMCTA had warned that they would hold a 24-hour relay hunger strike (12 hours each) in all medical colleges on February 5. KGMCTA had on January 29 boycotted all government medical colleges for three hours, boycotting all services and studies except essential, emergency and COVID services.
Since then, the struggle has continued with a complete boycott of studies and official meetings every day. The Kerala government postgraduate medical teachers association (KGPMTA) too had called for a total boycott of work for 24 hours previously. Classes for medical students, work experience, and college-based exams have been suspended as a result.
The association stressed that " Doctors must not be pushed into a more serious struggle and the government should be prepared to accept the legitimate demands of doctors in the interest of public health."