GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - Employees of 108 and 102 emergency service today announced an indefinite strike from September 5 against the exploitation and harassment allegedly meted out to them by GVK EMRI, the implementing agency of the emergency service in Assam. Drivers, emergency medical technicians and emergency response officers of the service will participate in the strike.
In a statement here today, the employees raised allegations against the implementation of improper service rules, of non-payment of annual increment, excess working hours, nominal payments for maintenance of ambulance, etc. They have demanded immediate remedial measures on the issues they have raised.
�From 2012, the All Assam 108 Mrityunjoy Employees� Association has been raising various issues related to the ambulance service. These issues have disrupted the service many times and caused harassment to common people. But neither the GVK EMRI management nor the State government paid attention to the issues,� the statement said.
On the other hand, on June 8, a meeting was held among officials of the National Health Mission, GVK EMRI and Mrityunjoy Employees� Association to discuss the issues related to privilege leave encashment, pay increment and implementation of the service rules or working hours.
At the meeting, it was agreed that GVK EMRI would review the privilege leave encashment issue for the financial year 2015-16 for eligibility criteria as per policy guidelines. The management had also agreed to implement reasonably good revised wages. Again, in case of implementation of the service rules or working hours, GVK EMRI had agreed to review all the contents of Clause 32 of the service rule book as the current contents seemed confusing and required better clarity.
But the employees alleged that GVK EMRI has not yet taken any step to fulfil those assurances, forcing the association to carry out a protest in front of the GVK EMRI office in Guwahati recently.
The aggrieved employees further said that the monthly allotment for fuel per ambulance is Rs 20,000. And after the allotted fund is spent, the ambulance is withdrawn from service and made to remain idle for the rest of the month. This often causes a crisis of ambulances across the State. Moreover, the GVK EMRI management allows only 30 cases per ambulance in a month and this is another reason for the crisis in ambulance service. The employees also pointed out lack of technical infrastructure in the service.
Meanwhile, in his response to the issues raised by the Mrityunjoy service employees, Kaushik Saikia, regional manager of GVK EMRI Assam said, �We are working towards solving all the issues raised by the employees, but it will take some time.�