Thiruvananthapuram: Nurses of private hospitals have announced a strike from Sunday demanding wage hike even as epidemic threat loomed large over the state. The decision was following the failure of talks with hospital managements on Thursday. The meeting to settle the issues convened by labour commissioner K. Biju did not find any solution to the dispute over wages. The hospitals agreed to a minimum wage of Rs 12,000 while unions of nurses wanted at least Rs 18,000.
As per the pay scale fixed in 2013, the minimum basic pay is Rs 9,500. However, nurses alleged that many hospitals were not even paying the minimum wages now. The labour commissioner has convened another round of talks on June 27 at 11 am at the Labour Commissionerate. He asked the managements and the nursing unions to submit their suggestions in writing before that. This would be considered by the minimum wages advisory board.
The board would then accept complaints from those concerned and forward them to the government for a final decision. Mr Biju urged both sides to make some compromise before the discussions to finalise the wage revision. He asked the unions to postpone the strike till the final negotiations on wage revision were completed. He also made it clear that the government was committed to implementing labour laws. “The developments in technology would be utilised for the purpose,” he said. Nurses unions agreed to discuss the matter at their meeting.