Nurses to intensify stir as talks fail on minimum wages

The two nurses’ organisations spearheading the strike say they will abstain from work from Monday as they are left with no other option

Published: 12th July 2017 01:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2017 10:29 AM   |  A+A-

United Nurses’ Association staging an agitation in front of the Secretariat on Tuesday demanding the implementation of minimum wage at private hospitals | B P Deepu

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nurses in private hospitals across the state decided to intensify their agitation as the government initiative to bring a consensus on wage revision failed to arrive at a consensus. The two organisations spearheading the strike - the Indian Nurses’ Association (INA) and United Nurses’ Association (UNA)- have declared the nurses will abstain from work from July 17.

With the government sticking to the decision of the Minimum Wages Committee, the associations said they were left with no option but to intensify the stir. “We will not withdraw the strike until the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee are implemented,” UNA president Jasmin Shah said. 

“The managements have till Sunday to decide. All the members feel the managements should not be given more time,” Shah said. The nurses will return to work in hospitals where the managements offer to implement the court-appointed committee’s directives, he said. The UNA will take a decision on the course of agitation in its meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday. 

Around 5,000 nurses took out a protest march to the Secretariat under the banner of UNA on Tuesday. 
Addressing the protesters, Shah said: “We will not withdraw from the strike even if we are sent to jail, We want the government to implement the recommendation of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee.” 
Shah said the decision taken by the Minimum Wages Committee to fix the basic salary of nurses at `17,200 on Monday cannot be accepted as they were planning to merge the 300 point DA. He said the government did not offer any solution to the complaints regarding the misuse of nurses training by the hospital managements. 

The INA has also reiterated they will not withdraw from their demand for implementation of minimum wages in accordance with the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee. INA General Secretary Mohammed Shihab said the nurses had been waiting for more than 17 months for a decision on minimum wages. The INA launched their agitation in Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. 

Fix realistic pay for pvt sector nurses: Chennithala 

T’Puram: The state government should end its hide-and-seek game in the nurses’ stir and fix a revised pay by following the spirit of the Supreme Court order, so as to settle it, said Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala in a statement on Tuesday. “The claim of the government that a hefty hike was effected in the salary of private nurses is deceitful. The pay scale was fixed after merging allowances in the basic pay. Only a namesake hike is there and that is totally against the SC order. The government should consider the grade of the private hospitals in accordance with the SC order and fix a realistic pay,” he said. As hospitals are bursting at its seams across the state, a prolonged stir of private sector nurses will only vitiate the scenario, Chennithala said. He said the government would settle the issue immediately. 


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