Kakinada: The plight of 180 outsourcing employees in the Government General Hospital at Kakinada is steadily getting worse. They have been working for nearly two decades in the hospital but their present salaries are no more than Rs 4,030 to Rs 6,110 per month.
Though these employees have submitted several representations to the government, they could not get a minimum salary of Rs 15,000 to Rs 24,000 as per the GO. In 2001, when the permanent staff at the GGH retired from service, the then government opted not to fill the vacancies. The existing employees took the additional burden and patient services were affected.
Identifying the problem, former district collector Satishchandra had obtained permission to recruit lab technicians in different categories, as also ANMs, operators and others on an outsourcing basis. After introducing the Arogyasri in the GGH, more employees have been recruited for these posts. A total of 274 outsourcing employees have been merged with `Vikasa’’ outsourcing agency, a government sponsored organisation, in 2011.
In 2016, a GO was issued for increasing the minimum salaries of outsourcing employees from Rs 15,000 to Rs 24,000. The GO has helped all outsourcing employees in the state except for those of them at the GGH.
At last, in 2020, the employees have been merged with Andhra Pradesh Corporation of Outsourcing (APCOS) to give them too the salaries as per the GO. Their employee IDs have also been registered with the Finance Department.
“After registering them with the finance department, the government has cancelled their white ration cards and hence could not apply for the Ammavodi house sites given to the poor and for other schemes. They have not been paid even the meagre salaries from September 2020. “Their living conditions have become worse. They are struggling for their lives,’’ said GGH outsourcing employees leader Manikumar.
He said many employees have left their jobs due to the poor payment in the form of salary and some of these employees died due to the Covid19 pandemic. These employees could not get any benefit from the government. Only 180 employees remained in the GGH for work as they have crossed 40 years and there is no chance for them to find other jobs.
Another employee, Bhavani, said the outsourcing employees in the GGH are not able to get even a village volunteer’s salary of Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000.
AP contract and outsourcing employees federation leader P. Veerababu said the employees are staging agitations but the government has not responded to their requests. He said that the treasury department returned their bills, saying there was “no financial concurrence”.
If the finance department gave the concurrence, the salaries could be increased. Four differently abled employees would lose their pension as the government treated them as outsourcing employees despite their long service, he said.
Meanwhile, medical education director Dr M. Raghavendra Rao made enquiries to the GGH superintendent about the salary issues of these employees after receiving a notice from human rights activist P Suresh Kumar. Superintendent Dr R. Mahalakshmi said the employees have not been given salaries from September 2020 as the government has not releases funds.