Thiruvananthapuram: Finally, the state government managed to issue the notification ensuring minimum wage of Rs 20,000 for the nurses working in the private hospitals in the state.
The notification was hurriedly issued on Monday night as the nurses had threatened of beginning an indefinite strike paralysing the functioning of all private hospitals in the state from Tuesday.
As per the notification, the minimum pay of the nurses working in private hospitals with a bed strength upto 100 will be Rs 20,000. For hospitals with bed strength between 101 and 300 the minimum pay of nurses will be Rs 22,000. For hospitals with 301-500 bed strength, the minimum pay will be Rs 24,000. Hospitals with 501-700 bed strength will have to pay Rs 26,000 as minimum salary to the nurses and hospitals with 701-800 bed strength will have to pay Rs 28,000. The minimum pay for the nurses working in hospitals which have bed strength above 800 will be Rs 30,000. The notification will have retrospective effect from October, 2017.
However, the nurses’ association has not withdrawn their strike since they are yet to receive the details of the notification released. As per the notification Rs 20,000 will be the basic pay for the hospitals which have a bed strength below 50.
Soon after the reports about the minimum wages notification came out, the private management association made it clear that it was unacceptable for them and they will move court against the notification.
The government had promised the nurses to issue the minimum wages notification before March 31 but could not do it due to a pending case against this in the high court. The case was vacated by the court following which the government decided to issue the notification.
A long march by the nurses from KVM Hospital, Cherthala, was also scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
But the delay in issuing the notification has raised concerns among the nurses. “The delay in issuing the notification is learnt to be an attempt to cut down the allowances such that the total pay package should confine to Rs 20,000, which we will not accept,” said Sibi Mukesh, state vice-president of United Nurses Association.
The private hospital managements are of the view that if the minimum salary of Rs 20,000 proposed by the government came into force, even the junior-most nurse would have to be paid at least Rs 33,000. The UNA leaders believe that the government in its bid to pacify the hospital managements are planning to cut down the allowances.