TNN | Sep 16, 2013, 05.33 AM IST

AHMEDABAD: More than 5,000 class 2 and class 4 health staff have threatened to strike work if their status is not changed from being a fixed pay contractual employee to a permanent staff member on government rolls. They include the health link workers, ASHA and AYUSH medicos posted in various government hospitals and dispensaries.

The Gujarat government worker association has demanded a full time employment, on the lines of the Rajasthan government for its staff employed under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The issue gathered momentum after the state government posted an advertisement for 250 doctors for various health centres in rural areas and only three reported for duty. “These doctors were offered salaries for Rs 23,000 fixed pay. There are many fixed pay salaried doctors working for the Gujarat government for the last eight years, why cannot they be considered for such posts. Also when NRHM ends in 2018 and most doctors hit their middle age, who will give them jobs. These doctors will be in their late thirties and not eligible for government positions,” says president GGWA Udyan Raval.

Raval claims that the association will take out a rally on September 17 and then go on a strike if the government does not assure them of a time bound conversion of contractual employees to permanent staff. The association has also demanded that the minimum salary for the contractual employees be Rs 11,000.