Arogya Kavacha employees hold talks with Health Department officials

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ambulanceBANGALORE, August 15: Members of Arogya Kavacha (108) Ambulance Employees’ Sangha, who went on a 14-day strike from July 26, held talks with Health Department officials including the Health Minister and representatives from the GVK EMRI, the private agency that runs the 108 ambulance, on Wednesday to look into the demands raised by the union.

N.H. Paramashiva, one of the office-bearers of the sangha, said the meeting was “fruitful”. “During the meeting, the government clarified that the GVK EMRI should pay salaries as per the Memorandum of Understanding and decided to increase overtime charges. Besides, it was also decided that the 26 members who were suspended before the strike would be taken back.”

“Although we were hopeful that our salaries would be increased, government officials said the procedure had to be reviewed at the Cabinet level and would take time. But we are glad that our agitation did not go in vain and some of concerns were addressed.”

Meanwhile, Jagadish Patil, State head of GVK EMRI, said the meeting was conducted only to “clarify” certain points.

He also said there was no talk or decision on the 26 suspended members and said the enquiry on their suspension would continue.

The nurses and drivers of the 108 ambulance services had called off their strike on August 8 after the Karnataka High Court intervened.

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