Labour Minister to hold talks on strike at Kolenchery hospital on Saturday

Talks between the managements and the nurses on strike at Lakeshore Hospital and Kolenchery Medical College Hospital failed yet again on Thursday.

Labour Minister Shibu Baby John has convened a meeting on Saturday to discuss the Kolenchery strike. The nurses at the hospital stood firm on their stand that they needed at least Rs.10,000 as salary, with an increase of Rs.1,000 each year, to make it Rs.16,000 in six years. The management had proposed minimum wages of Rs.8,600, with an increase of Rs.330 to Rs.1,000. It stated that any further increase would have to be discussed at the governing body meeting.

The management was represented by the hospital's general manager and a few members of the governing body. The Nurses' Welfare Association was represented by its president Reena Reji and secretary Shivaprasad.

The Regional Labour office had mediated the talks between both the groups in the two hospitals. According to Narayanan Namboothiri, district labour officer, the nurses were not ready to agree for wages below Rs.11,000 at the entry level for B.Sc. nurses.

The Lakeshore management had come up with a package of minimum wages of Rs.8,131 with an addition of Rs.1,000 to Rs.4,000 according to the service of the nurses at the hospital. But the nurses stuck to their demand for more wages.

The nurses said that it was only in the salary of January 2012 that minimum wages were provided. Even then, they were not provided the correct dearness allowance. There are also issues of other allowances that they had not talked about, said the representative of the nurses. The nurses also said that the salary structure did not consider the experience of nurses.

The nurses here were represented by the United Nurses' Association State president Jasmin Sha, State secretary, Sudeep Krishnan, Lakeshore unit president Bibin P. Chacko and other leaders of the district and Lakeshore hospital unit.

The hospital was represented by general manager M. J. Xavier; Sasidharan Pillai, chief financial officer; HR manager and the company secretary.

Keywords: Nurses' strike

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