Friday, July 19, 2024

ASHA workers demand salary hike, timely payment

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 group of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers on Saturday protested at the Directorate of Medical Education Office demanding salary increment and timely payment.
The workers also called for implementation of fixed income of Rs 18,000 which was promised by the Congress party in its manifesto.
Addressing the issue, Telangana ASHA workers Association president R Santoshyi said, “The BRS government used to deposit salaries on the 1st of every month. They currently paid Rs 9,750 and the previous government also used to provide incentives twice a year. The timely payment of salaries is essential to enable them to pay for EMIs, loans etc.
A few workers also need money for pooling in with the women self-help groups. However, for the past 5 to 6 months most workers are facing difficulties due to delayed payment. Two month salary was halted and the payment was delayed.
The workers are expected to work 24X7; if a pregnant woman suffers labour at night they have to rush to the hospitals. They are making them do all the work and the salaries are being delayed. In this regard, ASHA workers wanted to meet the authorities and give a representation today. This was not a rally or a sit-in, they said.
Sailaja, an ASHA worker said, ” I have been an ASHA worker for the past 10 years, earlier my mother-in-law worked for 25 years and now she doesn’t get any benefits. Out of the salary I receive, I give Rs 1,000 to my mother-in-law. The foremost demand is to have a fixed income; Provident Fund and ESI must also be provided to ASHA workers.
We need an ESI card for covering expenses in case of a health emergency. There must be some post-retirement benefits; the salaries are being credited almost at month end. There is no fixed timing we have to rush to government hospitals as and when required.”
Parvathamma, another ASHA worker said, “During the BRS government, the salaries were credited on the 1st of every month and now it is being delayed .
There is no fixed salary and we are being asked to work on the National Prevention and Control programme which is not our responsibility.”

The delay in payment and non-increment of salaries must be attributed to the fact that the Telangana government is yet to receive National Health Mission funds from the Centre.

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