Nurses end stir after morale booster dose of Rs 20,000


Nurses celebrating the victory of their protest in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday | B P Deepu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The 22-day-long agitation by the nurses of private hospitals ended on Thursday after a consensus was reached on the minimum salary. It has now been fixed at Rs 20,000. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the representatives of nurses’ associations and hospital managements with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Following this, the nurses called off their agitation. Noting the decision was unanimous, Pinarayi said the minimum salary of nurses in hospitals with less than 50 beds has been fixed at Rs 20,000, which includes all allowances. “The Supreme Court-appointed committee had recommended the minimum salary and this will be implemented in the state,’’ he said. He also said the government cannot go back from the recommendations of the committee.

With regard to hospitals having more than 50 beds, he said a four-member committee will be constituted to look into it. Labour, Health and Law Secretaries and the Labour Commissioner will be the members of the committee. The committee will be asked to submit the report within a month.

Pinarayi said the committee will also look into issues related to the training system and stipend during the training  period. The report of the committee will be submitted to the Minimum Wages Committee with a recommendation from the government. He also said a decision for timely increase in the stipend of nursing trainees was also taken at the meeting. He also asked the hospital managements not to take any action against the nurses who were on strike.  Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan, Health Minister K K Shylaja, Law Minister A K Balan, and Labour Additional Secretary Tom Jose were present at the meeting.

Welcoming the decision, United Nurses Association president Jasmin Shah and INA secretary Mohammed Shihab said they have withdrawn the strike. ‘‘We have been demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed committee. The government has now agreed to this and it is a welcome note,’’ they said.

Strike Down The Lane

April 1: UNA serves notice on Jubilee Mission Hospital
May 2: Talks with private managements, nurses’ union fail
May 29: Notice served on hospital management
June 19: UNA begins protest
June 20: Daya Hospital agrees to pay 50 pc of basic pay
June 20: Management refuses to accept UNA demand
June 27: Another IRC meeting with minister fails
July 6 : KCBC Labour Commission refuses to

accept demand
July 10: Government announces minimum wage of Rs 17,200.  INA decides to go on strike in Kannur, Kasargod
July 14: HC restrains nurses from going on indefinite strike
July 16: Order to deploy nursing students in hospitals