Months after around 3,000 nurses gathered in front of the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services office in Chennai seeking wage revision, the Tamil Nadu government increased the consolidated pay of nurses from Rs 7,700 to Rs 14,000 a month.
The decision was approved by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and will come into effect retrospectively from April 2018. The move will benefit nurses working on a contract basis in Primary Health Care centres, government hospitals and government medical college hospitals across the state.
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar also said that apart from higher wages, the nurses will also get an annual hike of Rs 500 and would be a part of the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme.
In November 2017, around 3,000 nurses went on a strike demanding higher wages, eight-hour work shifts and permanent jobs. The Health minister had then said that the salaries paid to the nurses were fixed by the central government and that the state government is in the process of regularising the tenure of the nurses appointed on a contract.
In July 2017, nurses from private hospitals in Kerala went on an indefinite strike demanding that the state implement the recommendations made by the Supreme Court appointed Jagdish Prasad committee. According to the committee, any private hospital with over 50 beds must ensure that the nurses are paid at par with the nurses working in the government sector.
The nurses had called off their month-long strike after the Chief Minister of Kerala invited them for negotiations and ensured that they would be paid Rs 20,000 per month.
Since a notification was not issued in this regard in 2017, a section of the nurses threatened to go on an indefinite strike again in April 2018. It was then called off after the Kerala government issued a notification increasing the wages of nurses to Rs 20,000.