Nurses say no to Rs 1,800 hike

Even as the deliberations in the Industrial Relations Committee (IRC) remained deadlocked for the last several weeks on the question of minimum wages for nurses in private hospitals, the government has mooted a hike of Rs1,800.

The proposal, drafted by the labour department, was immediately rejected by United Nurses Association (UNA) which represents nurses in the IRC, saying that it did not come anywhere near its expectations. “It’s not even worth for discussions,” said UNA state president Jasminsha M.

Labour department is planning to present the proposal at the next meeting of IRC in Thiruvananthapuram on November 8. The meeting is also expected to be attended by chief minister Oommen Chandy.

The current minimum wages for nurses with GNM qualification is around Rs 6,500 a month and for those with B Sc, Rs 8,000. While the nurses unions insisted nothing less than the Rs 12,900 proposed by the Balaraman panel as minimum wages, the managements were not ready to go beyond a hike of 15 per cent.

According to sources, the labour department also proposed an annual increment of Rs 115 on starting basic pay which again did not meet the Rs 500 demanded by nurses.

The minimum wages for nurses is due for revision and will be in force for next three years. The IRC was constituted by the government following a series of agitations by nurses in the state for better wages.

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