The State government has decided to revise the pay scales of hospital staff, including nurses, in private hospitals with effect from January.

The revision has been announced following a consensus reached at a meeting of the industrial relations committee (IRC), set up by the government following agitations by nurses, in the presence of Labour Minister Shibu Baby John here on Tuesday. Mr. John said the hospital staff would get a raise of between 25 per cent and nearly 35 per cent over the minimum wages notified three-and-a-half years ago, depending on the size of the hospital. Nurses in hospitals with more than 100 beds would be eligible for special allowances ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,250 a month.

The Minister said the lowest scale of pay would be Rs. 7,775-160-8,575-175-9,450, while the highest would be Rs. 10,000-200-11,000-220-12,100. The new scales were arrived at by fixing the basic pay at 25 per cent above the current salaries, including dearness allowance at 200 points on the consumer price index. The dearness allowance would go up by Rs. 26.65 for every point of increase on the index above 200 points. An additional increment would be granted as service weight for every five years of completed service.

Mr. John said a nurse with a general nursing and midwifery (GNM) qualification now getting Rs. 9,062 a month as gross salary would get Rs. 12,809 under the revised scale. The salaries of nurses with B.Sc. degrees, currently drawing Rs. 9,335 a month, would go up to Rs. 13,479. The basic pay of nurses with qualifications in general nursing would range from Rs. 8,725 to Rs. 11,343, while that of nurses with B.Sc. degrees would range from Rs. 8,975 to Rs. 11,668 a month.

He said that if nurses in any institution were getting higher salaries, those would have to be retained. Pay scales of staff in scanning centres, specialised ambulance services, dental clinics, eye clinics and hospitals without beds would be decided separately. He announced that the stipends for trainee nurses were proposed to be increased. The stipend of GNM trainee nurses would be increased from Rs. 5,100 to Rs. 6,000 a month. For trainee nurses with B.Sc. degrees, the revised stipend would be Rs. 6,500 against the existing Rs. 5,310 a month.

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