Protests staged by retrenched nurses in Odisha over permanent employment

As per the latest reports, a whopping 300 nurses who were contractually employed and were retrenched recently by the Odisha State Government, staged protests and a dharna right in front of the Collectorate. Their key agitation pertained to demanding permanent employment positions.

They eventually called off their protest after Saroj Kumar Mishra, the Collector, met them and reassured them about delving deeper into their issues. He also informed them that a solution would be found within a period of 4 days. The nurses were hired by the Odisha State Government on the contractual basis for 90 days and they were majorly engaged in COVID-19 duty across district-wide Panchayats.

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However, the nurses were retrenched after a period of 30 days and have not received their salaries as of yet. Susmita Jena, the President of the district nurse association, stated that the nurses employed on a contractual basis, worked really hard and a few nurses also contracted coronavirus while they were on duty. She added that the current scenario is really tough on the nurses who were illegally retrenched. They are finding it really difficult to survive and meet their basic needs during the pandemic. She stated that nurses should be provided jobs across various blocks which already have multiple vacant posts.

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As of now, the agitation has been suspended after the assurance provided by the Collector. However, the nurses now eagerly await the best possible solution for their livelihood within the next few days. Failure to come up with a solution may lead to the Collectorate getting besieged by protests in future days.

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