Around 700 workers of Primary Health Centres (PHC) in Vadodara district went on a mass casual leave and submitted a memorandum to the District Development Officer (DDO) on Tuesday threatening to boycott the Covid-19 vaccination drive if issues pertaining to their salaries were not resolved.
The workers, who gathered at the office of the DDO at Sardar Bhavan in Vadodara with banners and placards, alleged that their salaries for two months were unpaid. The health centre workers, employed through contract outsourcing, are demanding to include fixed pay, provident fund benefits, uniforms and medical assistance as part of their reimbursement system.
A representative of the workers said, “The government has accorded the title of ‘corona warriors’ to us but this title is not enough to run a household for the month. Our salary has not been paid for two months.”
The staff added that they will exclude themselves from the upcoming Covid-19 vaccination drive if their demands are not met.
“We want the administration to discontinue this outsourcing of contract to agencies and hire us directly. The contract agencies financially exploit the staff members and do not allow benefits to pass… Why should we continue to put our lives at risk or join the vaccination drive when the administration has no compassion for us,” said another representative.
An official of the district administration said that while the issue is between contracting agencies and their workforce, “talks will be held” with the agencies to address the issues raised by the workers.