Nurses call off strike after CM's assurance

Nurses call off strike after CM's assurance

The Karnataka State Contract Health Workers (Staff nurses) Association called off the week-long strike on Wednesday after Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda promised to resolve the issue in a month’s time.

 In a letter to the Association, Gowda said that a sub-committee would be formed in the Cabinet to look into their demand for regularisation of the services of  staff nurses working on contract for many years now. Based on the recommendations of the sub-committee, a decision will be taken in a month’s time, the letter stated.

Calling off the strike, the Association president, Manjunath A T said: We will wait till March 10 and if there is no intimation from the Government, our Association will resume the agitation on March 11,” he said.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar, who visited Freedom Park on Wednesday, promised to take up the matter in the Cabinet meeting and to solve the legal issue.

There are nearly 1,523 vacant posts of nurses in the State. The association members demanded the government to fill the vacancies by regularising their jobs based on seniority. “Besides our salary which is nearly Rs 10,000 less than the salary paid to regular nurses, no other benefits are given to the nurses working on contract.

Til the regularisation procedure is complete, the government should pay us the salary paid to permanent staff nurses, but Rs 100 less,” said Pradeep Kumar, an association member.

Over 4,700 nurses, mainly women working in PHCs, community and district hospitals across 30 districts, had gathered in the City since February 8.  Anuradha, a nurse working on contract from Raichur, developed labour pain and delivered her child at Vani Vilas Hospital during the protest.