January 20, 2018

Indefinite strike by nurses from Monday called off

15 July 2017, 02:29 | Megan Pierce

United Nurses’ Association staging an agitation in front of the Secretariat

The move comes in the wake of Kerala Private Hospital Management announcing closure of hospitals

Functioning of private hospitals in Kerala is likely to be hit with an estimated 80,000 nurses ready to go on indefinite strike from July 17, demanding higher wages.

"The hospital associations are highly appreciative of the proactive role by the state government and we remain sympathetic to the reasonable demands made by our nurses and will collectively join hands to arrive at a long-term and permanent resolution to the crisis", said the private hospital associations, which employ 1,70,000 nurses in the state healthcare sector.

The UNA leadership said that they would participate in the compromise meeting on July 19 called by the Chief Minister, but if the decisions taken at the meeting are not favourable, they would resume their strike.

Meanwhile, UNA will go ahead with their planned protest in front of the Secretariat on July 21.

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Earlier, the government had put forward the condition that a discussion on their demands would be possible if they postponed the indefinite strike.

Meanwhile, the High Court ordered that the UNA and the Indian Nurses Association office-bearers and members should stay away from the strike.

On Friday, the Kerala High Court restrained the nurses' organizations from holding the indefinite stir, based on a petition filed by association of private hospitals. It said their services fall under the ambit of essential services and sought invocation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act provisions against striking nurses.

Instead, an IRC was appointed to fix minimum wages for nurses and other hospital staff.Suggested wagesMinimum wages were declared for private sector nurses for the first time in May 2013, when their salary were fixed at?12,000-13,500.

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