No consensus on nurses’ reinstatement in Thrissur hospital

The United Nurses Association (UNA) is planning to launch a State-wide agitation as talks initiated by the mediation cell of the Kerala High Court on Monday failed to reach a consensus on the reinstatement of nurses who were suspended by the management of the Thrissur Mother Hospital.

When the mediation cell urged the hospital management to take back the 15 nurses suspended from service, the management insisted that they could be reinstated only after an inquiry.

The management also said the agitating nurses could be reinstated in a phased manner, in batches of 20 every month.

The UNA protested against the conditions put forward by the hospital management and alleged that they 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 obduracy of the hospital management. We will go for a State-wide strike from 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 UNA, who was on a hunger strike for the past eight days demanding reinstatement of the nurses on suspension. P.T. Dominic, another member of UNA, started a hunger strike.

The nurses at Mother Hospital have been agitating under the banner of UNA for the last 76 days demanding the implementation of the Balram Committee recommendations.

The functioning of private hospitals in the district has been hit for the past one week after nurses from various hospitals joined the agitation. However, nurses on emergency duty have been exempted from taking part in the strike.

Called off in Kannur

A Correspondent writes from Kannur:

The indefinite strike by the nurses of four hospitals in the district, which entered the 29th day on Monday, was called off following a conciliatory meeting convened by District Collector Rathan Kelkar.

The nurses launched a hunger strike on Monday morning, which was called off after the hospital managements and representatives of the Indian Nurses Association (INA) reached a consensus at the meeting called by the Collector.

The meeting, held in the presence of K. Sudhakaran, MP, was attended by the District Labour Officer and representatives of the INA and the hospital managements.

As per the agreement, a government committee will look into the INA’s demand for a three-shift duty schedule and make necessary recommendations.

Till the Industry Relations Committee makes its pay revision recommendations, the managements will pay an extra amount of Rs.1,000 to each nursing staff which will be deducted from the arrear amount once the pay revision notification comes into force.

With respect to the present two-shift schedule, the managements will pay an additional Rs.250 per night shift. This will continue till the government committee takes a decision on the three-shift demand. An ex gratia amount of Rs.2,500 will be paid to the striking nurses. They will join for duty on Wednesday.

  • Reinstatement only after inquiry, says management

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