KOCHI: With the Kerala High Court on Tuesday allowing the state government to publish the final notification regarding the minimum wages for nurses working in private hospitals, the management have decided to wait for the same before taking any move.
Dr Muhammed Rashid, president of the Kerala Private Hospital Association (KPHA), said they are awaiting the notification fixing the minimum wage of nurses and other hospital staff.
“If we find the notification unfavourable, we will seek the government’s intervention and urge it to reconsider. If it refuses, we will take legal steps or launch an agitation by downing shutters of the hospitals,” said Rashid.
“Once the notification is issued we will hold a meeting and decide on the next step. We will also seek legal advice on how to proceed with the situation,” he said.
With the High Court granting the permission, the advisory board of the Minimum Wages Commission will meet on April 10 and submit its report to the government. Issuing a notification is likely to take a week once the report is submitted.
“If the wage revision is implemented in its current state, many hospitals will have to be closed down. Every staff, not just the nurses, is getting a pay rise. We cannot increase the patients’ bill all of a sudden. Hence, we will be left with no other option. And when smaller hospitals face the threat of a shutdown, we cannot sit silently and let it happen,” he added.
Meanwhile, the nurses’ associations and trade unions are looking forward to the issuance of the notification.
“As we have made it clear earlier, if the notification is not published by April 15, we will launch protests. If it is not issued by April 20, we will start an indefinite strike. We are asking for our rights and will not back down from our demands,” said Jasmin Sha, president of United Nurses’ Association.