Hours after nurses went on a 48-hour protest in Maharashtra demanding recruitment, promotion, Covid allowance, and leaves, the state government agreed to increase their salary by Rs 1000 and Rs 500 as a Covid allowance. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope initiated the talk with Asha workers where the decision was taken.
At least 1,300 nurses of Mumbai’s JJ hospital were sitting on protest, while government hospitals in 24 districts were said to be affected. Those involved in the agitation said that they will go on an indefinite strike from June 15 if their demands are not fulfilled.
Earlier on Friday, police officers used baton-charge to disperse a group of protesting healthcare workers including nurses who tried to stop the convoy of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to present him their demands including permanent employment.
The protesters were hired on a contractual basis at government hospitals after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of them lost the job after the contract expired. Pawar, along with District Guardian Minister Dhananjay Munde, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and local MLAs attended a review meeting on COVID-19 situation as well as preparations for the Kharif season at Beed Collector’s office.
As Pawar was leaving afterwards, the protesters tried to stop his car. The police used mild baton-charge to disperse them and detained more than 100 persons, said an official. “We wanted to submit a memorandum to Pawar and Tope but they did not stop," said one protester.