KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Friday refused to grant stay to the notification issued by the Labour Commissioner revising the minimum wage of nurses working in private hospitals in the state to Rs. 20, 000 a month.
A vacation division bench rejected a plea of the Kerala Private Hospital Management’s Association in this regard saying that many hospitals were paying less than the wage recommended by an expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court.
The court has asked the hospital managements to approach the state government if they have any differences over the implementation of the revised wage. The court will hear the petition in detail after the vacation.
The government had issued the notification on April 23 after over 68,000 private hospital nurses affiliated to the United Nurses Association (UNA) had threatened to go on a state-wide strike from the next day, demanding implementation of the promised minimum monthly wage.
The private hospital nurses in Kerala had been on the warpath for the past two years, demanding the wage revision. They had gone on a state-wide strike in June last year after the hospital managements rejected their pay revision demand.
The nurses had called off their agitation after the government assured them their demands would be addressed. Though the government published a draft on the minimum basic salary in November last year, an order on the revised pay was not issued.
The hospital management’s association challenged the notification saying that majority of the hospitals had no financial capacity to pay the higher wages. They had alleged that the government had fixed the minimum wage without considering their opinion.