Govt. doctors seek pay parity

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They want to be paid as per the Central government’s scale

The Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association is demanding an increase in pay for professionals in the field. In 1988, State government employees were declared to be on a par with Central government workers when it came to pay structure but doctors in the State sector were left out.

“We have been demanding pay parity for several decades. Since our age of entry into government career begins later than other employees, our promotion chances are also limited. The 5th Pay Commission recognised this and revised the structure for Central government doctors. We demanded the revision during the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission and the then government introduced a system called the Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP),” explained Association president A. Ramalingam.

Thousands affected

According to him, around 18,000 doctors in State government service, who are in the MBBS cadre, are receiving much lower salaries than their counterparts in Central government service. “In 2009, the government issued a G.O. with a review plan after three years in the first instance and every five years thereafter. The first review was taken up in 2012. The next review is due this year,” Dr. Ramalingam said.

The association wants the government to move the doctors to higher pay bands at four, nine and 13 years of service instead of 15, 17, and 20 years as is being done now. In its ninth annual seminar held on Sunday, the association members pointed out that the State government’s doctors did considerable work, whether it is attending to patients and conducting surgeries or tackling epidemics and participating in mass immunisation programmes. Yet, the government had not paid attention to them, they said.

Though health department officials had accepted their demand in principle. no action had been taken despite the announcement of 7th Pay Commission, the members said, adding that they would go on strike if the State did not respond.

http://www.thehindu.com

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