After 70,000 nurses go on strike, Centre mulls pay hike for nurses soon
NEW DELHI: As over 70,000 regular nurses went on strike on Friday demanding better wages, the Centre said it was considering their demand. Union health secretary C K Mishra said the nurses’ unions would be allowed to present their demands at the high-level meeting to be held at the Finance Ministry on September 12.
“On our part, the Health Ministry has sent a favourable decision on hike in wages,” he said adding: “We are hopeful that there would be a settlement soon.”
On whether the government was planing to take any punitive action to break the strike, Mishra said the Delhi government has already invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and it was up to the State governments to take any measure. Sources in the Health Ministry said that seven of the nine demands put forward by the nurses’ unions have been accepted.
Meanwhile, the nurses’ strike began as hospitals in many places, especially in the national capital, grappled with a surge in cases of dengue and chikungunya. The two demands which need to be sorted out are those pertaining to hike in wages and allowances.
Over 20,000 nurses in government hospitals in Delhi have joined the stir, severely affecting the functioning of hospitals.