Kochi: Nurses, doctors and other employees under the National Health Mission (NHM) who are on contract, engaged with COVID-19 duty are yet to get their promised salary hike. The Kerala cabinet had decided to hike the salaries and incentives of NHM employees on contract and on daily basis in the first week of August.
While announcing the decision, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that it was decided to give additional benefits to the employees involved in COVID-19 activities considering their limited remuneration.
However, the employees were not paid the promised hike in wages and other allowances and they continue to work for low wages.
“We came to know about the salary revision from media reports. But we haven’t got the increased wages or any official orders in this regard,” said an NHM contract employee.
As per the revised scale, the minimum monthly salary of Grade III employees like staff nurses, junior health inspectors, pharmacists and technicians will be Rs.20, 000 which was Rs.13, 500 earlier. They are also supposed to get a 25 per cent risk allowance. The last grade employees would be given a 30 per cent risk allowance in addition to their daily wages. The government will have to shell out an additional Rs.22.68 crore every month on this account.
Meanwhile, Dr Mathews Numpeli, NHM Ernakulam district coordinator told Deccan Chronicle that the employees on contract and on daily basis will soon get the promised salary hike and other benefits. “The process is on and will be implemented without further delay,” he said.
It was in April that a proposal for introducing incentives for contract and daily waged staff in NHM was submitted before the executive committee meeting of the State Health and Family Welfare Society. The meeting accorded sanction to the proposal which was later approved by the cabinet.