A group representing hospital daily-wage workers nationwide is calling for better fringe benefits, saying they also deserve a work benefit upgrade being offered salaried staff as a reward for their good work in containing the coronavirus.
The move follows Monday's announcement by Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul that the first batch of 25,000 health workers, who were permanent state employees under the Public Health Ministry, had been upgraded to civil servant status.
The cabinet had previously approved a proposal to award an employment upgrade to all 45,684 health workers for their good work in the fight against Covid-19.
A second batch of these health personnel would receive a similar upgrade next month, Mr Anutin said.
Kanokphon Suksanit, president of the Association of Temporary State Employees (ATSE), on Tuesday urged Mr Anutin to also consider improving work benefits for the Public Health Ministry’s temporary hospital staff.
She said these temporary staff, including stretcher-pushers, launderers and staff providing non-medical help to patients, shared a similar risk of contracting the coronavirus.
They earn only about 300 baht a day and aren’t paid on days off, meaning they earn less than 9,000 baht a month, she added.
The ATSE is therefore urging the Public Health Ministry to amend its rules to allow hospitals under its jurisdiction to use some of their so-called maintenance budget to pay temporary staff additional allowances approved by the cabinet for health workers supporting the government’s Covid-19 fight.
Ms Kanokphon said the requested amendment would allow hospitals in areas considered “high risk” to pay extra allowances to their temporary workers.
She also called on the ministry to reinstate hospital temporary workers previously laid off and give all temporary staff paid public holidays.