The nurses appointed on April 29 were employed as per the pay scale of permanent government staff nurses. However, the nurses allege that salaries paid to them are not even as per the pay scale of contract staff nurses.
In a letter to the Health Minister, nurses stated that they were appointed on the promise of being made permanent staff, however, the officials are referring to them as contract staff, stating that they were employed for civic work by the Greater Chennai Corporation.
One of the newly appointed nurses said that the senior officials from the State Health Department visited them in several government hospitals during COVID-19 inspection and reaffirmed that they will be appointed as permanent staff. Yet, the newly appointed staff members have not received salaries in May, June and July. “The nurses have come from other districts to work here and are staying in rented houses. The salaries have not been paid even on par with the contract workers. As they were employed by the Medical Recruitment Board and have their MRB appointment numbers, their demands have to be considered,” said S Saraswathy, secretary of Tamil Nadu Nurses Association.
She added that the civic authorities have also been intimated about the issue and they would request the Corporation Commissioner to release complete pay. When contacted, a senior official from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said that the nurses were hired by DPH but they were employed by the GCC, thus, this issue has to be addressed by the Corporation.