Nurses in the state may get an interim wage relief till the government takes a decision on the recommendations of the Dr Balaraman committee or implements the next pay revision before 2014.
Since the committee report has met with opposition from many quarters, the cabinet is likely to take its time to approve the recommendations made in the report, either fully or partially. So, in order to prevent more nurses' strikesthat paralyse hospitals, and not to antagonize private hospital managements, the government would soon be bringing out a package as a compromise.
The Kerala Private Hospitals Association is willing to leave it to the government to fix the package. "The payment package recommended by the committee is not acceptable to us. What we can pay is an amount that is more than minimum wages but less than what is put forward by the committee," says Dr P K Abdul Rasheed, the association's president.
But the nurses' union would not hear of it. The union's leaders say that if the government does not take a decision on the committee by June, they would launch state-wide agitations. "For the past three months the government has been holding us back from strikes with the promise that new wages recommended by the committee would be implemented in June. If they go back on their word, we would resume strikes in hospitals," says Jasmin Sha, president of United Nurses Association.The nur ses unions do not expect the government to implement the pay commission revision soon even though the minimum wages fixed in 2009 has to be revised before 2014. The government is yet to constitute a committee for this purpose, says Jasmin Sha.
On their part, Dr Balaraman committee members feel that the government should approve the recommendations and implement a new packageinstead of offering an interim relief. "The nurses here are a much-exploited lot, they should be paid what they deserve. We hope the recommendations are implemented at the earliest," says Prof Prasannakumari Y, member and deputy director of nursing education.
Source : Times of India