Nurses owing allegiance to the United Nurses Association will strike work in private hospitals across the State from April 24, if the State Government fails to implement the Supreme Court directive regarding minimum salary, UNA State General Secretary Sujanapal Achuthan has said. He was speaking after inaugurating an indefinite protest organised by UNA in front of the Secretariat on Monday, against the Government’s failure to honour the promises that it had given in July last year.
The UNA and Indian Nurses Association had called off their month-long stir on July 20 last year after the State Government said that it would implement the Supreme Court directive of Rs.20,000 minimum salary to nurses working in private hospitals in the state. A draft notification was also issued in this regard. The Government later said earlier this year that the final notification on wage revision would be issued before March 31. But the nurses say that this has not yet happened, forcing them to go on strike again.
“The Chief Minister announced the wage revisions last July after a historical fight put up by the nurses. But due to pressure from the mainstream trade union leaders and to help the private owners, the Government has not yet implemented this promise. The nurses’ associations have organised its strikes without putting the common people to difficulties. But, the Government has not kept its word,” said Mr.Achuthan.
The protest also demanded steps from the Government to end the 240-day long nurses’ strike at the KVM Hospital in Cherthala.
“More than 150 nurses of the KVM Hospital has been on strike for 240 days. The management had unfairly dismissed two of the workers, leading to the strike. The two-shift system at the hospital has also taken a toll on the nurses,” he said.
He said that the nurses would take their fight to Chengannur, where a by-election is underway. “Only the party which stands for the rights of the nurses would win Chengannur,” said Mr.Sujanapal.