Nearly 280 nurses are on strike in four hospitals in the district and their demands include revision of pay scale, three-shift duty and 10 per cent annual increment for senior staff. The nurses are on strike at Ashirvad Hospital, Dhanalakshmi Hospital and Koyili Hospital in Kannur and Lourde Hospital at Taliparamaba.

Political leaders cutting across party lines addressed the Indian Nurses’ Association (INA) members who marched to the collectorate on Monday, on the eighth day of their indefinite strike, raising a slew of demands.

T.V. Rajesh, MLA, All-India Congress Committee member Suma Balakrishnan and Bharatiya Janata Party State vice-president A.P. Padmini were among those who addressed the nurses who took out the march from Koyili Hospital around 11 a.m.

Mr. Rajesh said the hospital managements should not let sparks turn into a fire. None of the demands put forward by the striking group could be termed unjustified and eight months had passed since the Balram committee had submitted its report to the government. The recommendations of the committee should be implemented at the earliest, he urged.

Office-bearers of the INA said that in the wake of unqualified nurses and nursing students being engaged by the managements of hospitals where nurses were on strike, the Kerala Nursing Council had been given a complaint and inspections had been undertaken. A report in this direction was awaited, while such practices would be fought in the future, they said.

Meanwhile, the hospital managements said that the hospitals were functioning normally as many striking nurses had joined back on duty.

New appointments had also been made to meet the staff shortage, they said. Many conciliatory talks between the INA and the Qualified Private Medical Practitioners’ Association (QPMPA), representing the hospital managements, organised by the Labour Department officials and district administration, since the strike commenced on October 22 had failed to reach any agreement.

Nearly 280 nurses are on strike in four hospitals in the district and their demands include revision of pay scale, three-shift duty and 10 per cent annual increment for senior staff. The nurses are on strike at Ashirvad Hospital, Dhanalakshmi Hospital and Koyili Hospital in Kannur and Lourde Hospital at Taliparamaba.

Keywords: Kerala nurses

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