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Nurses in private hospitals across the State, affiliated to United Nurses’Association (UNA), are planning to go on mass leave indefinitely from March 6, Tuesday, demanding a settlement to the ongoing nurses’strike at KVM Hospital, Cherthala, which is now nearly 200 days old.

Though the Labour Commissioner had called for a round of conciliatory talks on Saturday to settle the issue, nothing evolved out of the talks as the representatives of KVM Hospital refused to turn up for the meeting.

Even though the nurses are planning to go on mass leave from Tuesday, the Labour Commissioner has called for another round of talks at 2 p.m. on that day.

UNA decided to go on mass leave to show their protest after the High Court, while hearing a petition filed by the association of private hospital managements, imposed a temporary stay on the nurses’strike.

It said that some 62,000 of its members will go on mass leave from March 6. However, those hospitals which are providing a minimum salary of ₹20,000 to nurses will be spared, UNA State Vice President, Sibi Mukesh, said.

UNA said that the Government needed to take a stronger stand to ensure that statutory benefits were not denied to nurses. It said that KVM Hospital management had not yet implemented even the Minimum Wages of 2013 or the three-shift system.

With Kerala Private Hospitals’Association fully backing even these violations by KVM hospital, UNA had no option but to throw its entire might behind the issue and go on a State-wide stir, it said.

About 116 nurses, including two who were issued termination notices by the hospital management, have been on protest outside the hospital since the past 193 days. Though several rounds of talks had been held earlier too, no amicable solution could be evolved as UNA has been resolute on its demand that the hospital management reinstate all the nurses who had been thrown out.

UNA leaders said that they were hoping for an intervention by the Chief Minister now to resolve the stalemate.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 3:58:06 AM |

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