Members protesting at Rajarathinam stadium on Thursday | Ashwin Prasath
Members protesting at Rajarathinam stadium on Thursday | Ashwin Prasath

PHC contract staff demand 15 percent pay hike, stage hunger strike 

There are counsellors, data managers, lab technicians, pharmacists, community coordinators and others.

CHENNAI: Around 100 contract employees of Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres working in Primary Health Centres staged a one-day hunger strike demanding 15% pay hike from Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society on Thursday.

The protest was conducted by Tamil Nadu AIDS Control All Employees Welfare Association. Protesters said pay hike is pending for the last one-and-half years for around 800 ICTC employees working in PHCs across the state.

P Santhi, district president, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu AIDS Control All Employees Welfare Association, said the hike was given to all ICTC employees working in government hospitals but it was kept pending for employees in PHCs. “Basic pay for ICTC employees is Rs 13,000.

There are counsellors, data managers, lab technicians, pharmacists, community coordinators and others. The pay should be equal for all ICTC employees,” said M Jayanthi, state president, Tamil Nadu AIDS Control All Employees Welfare Association.

However, TANSACS officials said salary of these employees are paid by National Health Mission-Tamil Nadu. “The National AIDS Control Society (NACO) in 2010 terminated the contract of around 800 ICTC employees, but the state health department retained them, and salary is paid by the National Health Mission-Tamil Nadu. Though these people are working for TANSACS, they come under NHM. In 2021, NACO gave a pay hike for ICTC employees working under it. So, these employees are also asking for it. We have been negotiating with the NHM for a pay hike for these people,” an official said.

Jayanthi said ICTC employees in PHC are paid around Rs 4,000 less than their counterparts in GH. TANSACS should find a solution as these staff are working for them.

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