Report of the correspondent of Mazdoor Ekta Committee
At the call of the Rajasthan Nurses Joint Sangharsh Samiti, nurses working in various district hospitals of Rajasthan took out a candle march and torch procession on August 14, 2023, in support of their demands. The protesting nurses shouted slogans against the state government. On 15th August, Independence Day, the nurses hoisted the flag at the protest sites as a show of their demands. The nurses warned that if the government did not take any action on their demands, they would organize a massive rally and demonstration in Jaipur on 25th August.
The main demands of the agitating nurses are that – priority to be accorded to nursing education and advanced departmental nursing training; vacant posts of nursing teachers to be filled immediately; pay and allowances to be brought on par with Central Government institutions; regularization of contract nurses and complete ban of recruitment through placement agency; ensuring all rights of Nursing Officer, Nursing Tutor and Principal are secured; implementation of time bound promotion policy; establishment of nursing colonies by allotting residential plots at concessional rates; a ban on the use of nurses for additional duties of the hospital; establishment of a separate Nursing Directorate, etc.
Nurses in Rajasthan have been in struggle for the last several months. On 24th June, the Rajasthan Nurses Association and Rajasthan State Nurses Association United, along with several other organizations of nurses, united on the 11-point pending demands of the nurses. By forming the Rajasthan Nurses Joint Sangharsh Samiti, they declared a statewide struggle and prepared a strategy for further struggle. They announced a boycott of work for 2 hours in government hospitals across Rajasthan for their 11-point demands, starting 18th July. But despite this, when the government ignored the demands of the nurses, nurses have been holding two-hour protests and door-to-door meetings in hospitals, medical centers and nursing training centers all over Rajasthan since August 1. Further, two-hour gate meetings were held 2nd-9th August, at rural hospitals and first aid centers. On 10th August, the nurses marched from the district hospital to the district collector’s office raising slogans in support of their demands and against the anti-worker and anti-people policies of the government.
Gate meetings have been announced in front of all rural and urban district hospitals 16th -24th August.
The nurses have decided to keep the emergency services running during these meetings and demonstrations, so that people can continue to get the benefits of essential health services.