Contractual employees of NHM Mizoram call off their agitation

Aizawl, July 18 (PTI): Contractual employees of the National Health Mission (NHM) Mizoram called off their week-long agitation following an assurance from the state government that some of their demands would be met, a union leader said on Monday.

The NHM employees went on mass casual leave from July 11 to 13 and thereafter went on indefinite strike from July 14 after their meeting with state officials ended in a deadlock.

The contractual NHM employees are demanding regularisation of their service under the state government, regular pay, medical reimbursement and transfer allowances.

National Health Mission Employees Union of Mizoram (NEUM) president Malsawmtluanga Hauhnar said that the meeting of the union held late Sunday night unanimously called off the ongoing agitation with effect from 9 am on Monday following an assurance from the state government to meet their demands.

He said that the Central Committee of Young Mizo Association (CYMA), which acted as a mediator between the state government and NEUM on Sunday met concerned state ministers over the demands of the union.

During the meeting with deputy chief minister Tawnluia, who also holds the personnel and administrative reforms portfolio, the CYMA representatives were told that the government would publish the recommendation and findings of the a study group, which was constituted last year to assess the problems of the employees, for implementation at the earliest, he said.

Health minister Dr R Lalthangliana also assured the CYMA leaders that the NHM employees would be paid regularly and that the order banning holding of strike by healthcare workers issued under the Mizoram Essential Service Maintenance Act, 1990 (amended in 1995) would be lifted and rectified as it is basically connected with COVID-19 and not due to the strike, Hauhnar said.

During the meeting, Lalthangliana also informed the CYMA representatives that the government has paid salaries to the employees till May and salaries for June is under processed.

The health minister also assured the revocation of show cause notices served to the NHM employees with immediate effect, Hauhnar said.

On Saturday, the government had served show cause notices to the employees and warned that they could be terminated, jailed and fined for violating the Mizoram Essential Service Maintenance Act and not honouring the agreement deed they have signed with the government on their recruitment.

The government had also issued an order banning staging of strike by healthcare workers under the Mizoram Essential Service Maintenance Act on July 8.

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