The United Nurses Association (UNA) has warned of a State-wide agitation after talks initiated by the mediation cell of the Kerala High Court on Monday failed to reach a consensus between the nurses and the management of the Thrissur Mother Hospital on reinstatement of nurses who were suspended from service.

While the mediation cell urged the hospital management to take back into service 15 nurses who had been suspended, the hospital management insisted that they could be reinstated only after an inquiry. The management also said the striking nurses could be taken back into duty in a phased manner, in batches of 20 each a month.

The nurses’ association said the conditions laid down by hospital management were against labour laws. This was the third time that the mediation cell of the Kerala High Court intervened to end the strike.

“The talks failed due to the stubborn stance taken by the hospital management. We will go in for a State-wide strike next month. Notices will be issued to all private hospitals on November 25,” said UNA leader Jasmin Shah.

The police on Monday arrested P. Rashmi, treasurer of the United Nurses Association, who had been fasting for the last eight days demanding the reinstatement of nurses on suspension. P.T. Dominic, another member of the UNA, went on hunger strike in her place.

The nurses at the Mother Hospital have been agitating under the banner of United Nurses Association for the last 76 days demanding implementation of Balram Committee recommendations. The functioning of the private hospitals in the district has been hit for the last one week after the nurses from various hospitals joined the agitation. However, the nurses on emergency duty have been exempted from taking part in the strike.

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