Vijayapura: Around 100 health workers appointed on contract basis for Covid duty in the Health Department are anxiously waiting for their salaries as they have not relieved payment for four months. These workers, including staff nurses, data entry operators and swab collectors were appointed three years ago on contract basis by the Government for Covid duty.
Since the Covid cases were rapidly rising in the State around three years ago when the world had been hit by this pandemic, the Government had hired them only for Covid-related work. Based on their grade and nature of work, their remuneration was fixed by the Government.
“Till around four months ago, we had no issues in getting our payment on time. But since four months, our payments have been held up due to which we are unable to meet our family and daily expenses. We anyways get minimum payment. If that too is not given properly then it is hard for us to survive,” said one of the workers who did not wish to be identified.
The workers blamed one of the staff who is responsible for clearing the payment. They alleged that one of the caseworkers who is supposed to clear the payment is not doing so despite several appeals.
“The officer demands a bribe even to clear our own payment. Despite the fact that the Government has cleared the payment and deposited required money, the official is signing and paying our remuneration,” the staff said.
They claimed that the staff is corrupt and had been suspended in the past for the same reason.
“Even after being suspended in the past, the official still continues the habit of corruption. We tried to convey this matter to the higher officials but no action has been taken against the erring official,” the workers complained. They also demanded the authorities concerned to take suitable action against the official.
When contacted Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Govind Reddy on this matter, he said that no staff has the right to withhold the payment of contract workers when the Government has cleared funds for their payments. He said that he would direct the District Health and Family Welfare Officer to look into the matter and take necessary action in clearing the payments of the workers.