Over 68,000 nurses of private hospitals in Kerala will go on an indefinite strike from April 24, demanding implementation of promised minimum monthly salary of Rs 20,000, a body of them announced today.
The functioning of more than 450 private hospitals with 50 plus beds was likely to be affected by the agitation, which was announced after talks held here between the nurses' representatives and the Labour Commissioner failed.
The nurses had struck work in June last year over the demand and called off their agitation after the government assured to address their demand. """ Though the government had published a draft on the minimum wages in November last year, an order on the revised pay was yet to be issued, the United Nurses Association (UNA) said. """ UNA President Jasmin Shah said that during today's talks, the government sought more time for a consensus, but the association rejected it.
"" As part of the agitation, the nurses along with their family members would hold a 'long march' from Cherthala in Alappuzha District to the state Secretariat, the administrative hub here, on April 24, Shah said.
""" Indian Nurses Association, another outfit, would also join the strike from May 12, its leaders said.
""" "We are not prepared for any compromise. From April 24, all private hospital nurses will stay away from work. They will work till their night shift on April 23 and stop work," Shah said.
"" Though they had approached the government several times seeking the implementation of the promised minimum wages of Rs 20,000 per month, the authorities had not even called them for any discussions, the nurses' leaders alleged.
""" A section of nurses was already staging an agitation in front of the secretariat for the last six days pressing their demand, they said.
"" The private hospital nurses in the state had been on a war path since the past two years demanding minimum wages of Rs 20,000 as fixed by the Supreme Court.
"" They had gone for a similar state-wide strike in June, last year also after the hospital managements rejected their pay revision demand.
"" The nurses called off the agitation in July after the government intervened and promised to implement the minimum pay of Rs 20,000 to nurses working in private hospitals with less than 50 beds.
"" The state has about 1,100 private hospitals, including 457 with 50 plus beds, according to the association leaders.
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