A section of workers engaged in door-to-door surveys, carrying out checks on temperature and oxygen levels, among other parameters, has complained of not being paid their salaries in the last few months. The workers, appointed for COVID-19 prevention measures in some divisions of the city, complained that the Greater Chennai Corporation was delaying payments.
These workers have been at the forefront of the city’s pandemic control programme and have been crucial in implementing prevention and early detection strategies, ensuring that everyone gets quality care.
A senior official of the Corporation said there were two types of workers appointed as part of the COVID-19 prevention measures. While the sector health workers were appointed by zonal officials, outreach workers or volunteers were engaged by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for working in containment zones and engaging in other COVID-19-related duties. The civic body tied-up with the NGOs and payments were made from the headquarters, the official said.
The sector health workers, similar to those engaged under the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), were recruited by the 15 zonal officers and paid monthly consolidated salaries. Around 10,000 sector health workers were appointed for the house visits, to check temperatures, oxygen levels and other health-related issues.
S. Ramesh, a sector health worker in the Kodambakkam zone, said that salaries were paid promptly by their zonal office, by the first week of the month. But he rued that several outreach workers, recruited by NGOs in his zone, had not received salaries for some months now.
Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said that severe action would be taken against NGOs who have not paid salaries to the outreach workers.