Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Emergency Medical Services staff facing salary woes October, November salaries pending; staff accuse superiors of showing lack of concern

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In a distressing turn of events, the dedicated staff of Emergency Medical Services vehicles under the Health Department in Visakhapatnam have not received their salaries for the past two months, leaving approximately 500 employees grappling with financial difficulties. The affected vehicles include 108, 104, and 102, with salaries for October and November still pending, and December salaries due in another four days, accumulating a backlog of three months’ arrears.
Despite their crucial role in providing emergency medical assistance, employees claim that the superiors have shown a lack of concern, exacerbating the situation. The impact is significant in Visakhapatnam district, where 52 vehicles out of the 108 are stationed. Among these, 112 drivers and 120 emergency medical technicians face delayed payments ranging from Rs 16,000 to Rs 28,000, depending on their seniority.
Similarly, 67 vehicles of 104 have 70 drivers and 70 data entry operators awaiting salaries, with data entry operators receiving Rs 14,000 and drivers between Rs 16,000 and Rs 20,000 based on seniority. Tallibidda Express (102) operates 68 vehicles with 75 employees receiving a salary of Rs 7870 per month.
All employees initially joined with a three-year contract, with officials assuring a salary of Rs.10,000 per month on joining. However, employees allege that the Aurobindo company managing payments is neglecting Provident Fund (PF) and Employee State Insurance (ESI) contributions.
Approximately 80 percent of the employees in vehicles 104 and 102 are new recruits facing lower wages despite an increase in workload. Their responsibilities have expanded to transporting pregnant women for health examinations, in addition to the earlier duty of transporting babies from hospitals to homes. Employees express frustration, working tirelessly from morning to evening without receiving the expected compensation.
Aurobindo Society oversees the maintenance of these vehicles, funded directly by the government with crores of rupees. However, the employees continue to face financial hardship due to the company’s failure to disburse salaries promptly. As the uncertainty prevails, the emergency medical services staff implored the authorities to address their grievances promptly, ensuring that the vital services they provide to the community are not compromised due to financial constraints.

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