Lucknow: KGMU Non-Teaching Staff on Indefinite Strike Over Cadre Restructuring
Image: Special Arrangement
Lucknow: Patient care services in the out-patient department (OPD) of King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow, came to a standstill on Tuesday after thousands of university non-teaching employees, including paramedical staff, nursing, clerks, ward boys, technicians and peons, went on indefinite strike demanding cadre restructuring.
The employees expressed resentment against the state government for not heeding their long-pending demands that include several issues ranging from adequate promotions to allowance at par with other cadres. Due to no cadre restructuring, KGMU employees said they were not getting higher salaries and other perks at par with their counterparts in SGPGIMS (Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences) for a long time.
"We have been protesting for many years for cadre restructuring. Last year, the matter of our strike reached the Chief Minister’s office after which the then medical education minister Suresh Khanna and senior officials met us in the vice-chancellor’s office. They assured us that our files regarding cadre restructuring shall be executed in a day or two after which we called off the strike,” Pradeep Gangwar, former president of the KGMU Employees’ Council, told NewsClick.
Gangwar said that on August 23, 2016, the then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav doled out sops to government employees by hiking house rent allowance (HRA) and giving packages to KGMU non-teaching employees at par with their counterparts at SGPGIMS. These decisions, among others, were taken by the UP cabinet meeting, chaired by the CM.
"After that mandate, we get the allowances but we have not been getting salary and other perks at par with SGPGIMS," he added.
Anil Singh, general secretary of the KGMU Employees’ Council, who is leading the protest, told NewsClick, "Against the university’s list of 40 cadres, the government has only restructured eight cadres so far. Six years have passed ever since the mandate was issued, but the government has restructured seven cadres so far -- two cadres were restructured in 2017 while five in 2021-22 in which cadre restructuring of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and perfusionists was done. The rest of the employees of the 33 cadres have been fighting for their rights."
Estimating the losses due to non-restructuring of cadres, Singh said there is a loss of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month for every employee, and promotion is also on hold since 2016.
The union leaders said their strike would continue until the principal secretary gives them in writing that he will restructure 33 cadres in a time-bound period.
"The decision to revise the cadre of KGMU (non-clinical) employees was made in January 2021 and medical education minister Suresh Khanna had issued instructions. But till now, nothing has been done. Hence, we have been forced to demonstrate in such a manner,” said Singh.
The protesting employees said due to the “irresponsible attitude” of officials, work in OPD, MS Office, CMS office as well as in all the offices has been stopped from Tuesday.
After the day-long strike, the employees and KGMU administration held a meeting on Tuesday evening following which the employees decided to continue their strike as talks between them failed.
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