The labour department has fixed the minimum basic pay that private hospitals must pay its nurses following a SC order last year.The department has on March 3 issued a GO and the notification was published in the gazette on Wednesday. However, pay levels fixed by the order is much lower than what SC recommended.
Private nursing homes and hospitals with 25 or lesser beds must now pay a minimum basic of Rs 15,824 to nurses. For other category hospitals, the basic pay are as follows: for 26 to 50-bed hospitals, Rs 15,874; for 51 to 100-bed hospitals, Rs 15,924; for 101 to 150-bed hospitals, Rs 15,974; for 151 to 200-bed hospitals, Rs 16,024; and for hospitals with more than 200 beds, Rs 16,124. The Apex Court in its order last year had recommended a minimum basic pay of Rs 20,000 for nurses in hospitals with less than 50 beds. Also, for hospitals with 50 to 100 beds, the court had said the pay must be 75 percent of what nurses in government hospitals get.
The order was implemented in Kerala after a massive protest. Following this, various nurses associations staged protests across TN.Subsequently, the Government constituted a committee under Deputy Commissioner of Labour for revision of minimum wages. The panel, after conducting various meetings with the employers and employees, submitted a report to the Commissioner of Labour. The report was sent to the government along with the recommendations. After acceptance, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 was amended.
A Raj, secretary, Global Nurses Association said, earlier we were getting Rs 6,000 as basic salary in most hospitals. Now, though, it was higher than that, its still lesser than recommendations. “Don’t know what were the considerations taken while studying. We will decide on our next step later,” he said.