–Primary and Secondary Health Department engineers protest against non-payment of dues for past nine months
–Protesters claim officials using delaying tactics while health minister is least bothered
LAHORE: The engineers of Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) have started protesting against the non-payment of their dues; claiming to not have received their salaries for the past nine months.
As per the details, dozens of P&SHD engineers holding placards and banners inscribed with their demands protested in front of P&SHD and later the Chief Minister’s Office in GOR on Wednesday.
“This is the second day of our protest. All of us are engineers working in Biomedical Equipment Resource Center (BERC) that is under the administrative control of P&SHD. In 2017, P&SHD invited applications for the posts of divisional/associate biomedical engineers, district clinical engineers, network administrators and zonal heads for Biomedical Equipment Repair Workshops (BERWs) in Lahore, Multan and Sargodha,” a BERC engineer, Mian Umer, said while speaking to Pakistan Today.
Around 18 individuals, he added, were then hired through the National Testing Service (NTS) against the posts and after necessary training, the selected candidates were transferred to their respective zones. “All these candidates along with the previous employees of BERC and BERWs have been working dedicatedly but no salaries have been received by any individual for the past nine months,” Umer told this scribe.
He further said that no positive response had been received even after multiple requests and applications to the officials concerned as well as the top hierarchy of BERC. “The matter is postponed and we are told that the interim government has no budget or given other lame excuses.”
“No timeline has so far been shared and an environment of uncertainty has spread. All our savings have drained and a majority of our colleagues have fallen into depression. Most of us are sole bread earners of the family but unfortunately are stuck in this miserable condition,” Umer said.
“We have also written to the health minister and requested her to intervene so that the department may sort out the issue on an urgent basis, but she feigned ignorance. The minister is not cooperating with us.” Umer added that she, in fact, had expressed resentment over the protest.
“We deserve logical representatives who can address our grievances and not those who are only concerned about political point scoring.”
Repeated attempts were made to contact Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, but she was unavailable.