The strike called by nurses of Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Medical College Hospital (MOSCMC) in Kolenchery continued into the fifth day as the managements of both hospitals failed to reach a consensus on the demands put forth by the nurses.
The talks held on Friday between the Lakeshore Hospital management and the striking nurses failed as the hospital management asked for more time to take a favourable decision on the demand for a salary hike. The nurses at the MOSCMC had already declared an indefinite strike after the talks held with the management failed on Thursday. The MOSCMC management had also sought more time to decide on the pay hike.
During the meeting between the Lakeshore Hospital management and the nurses’ association, the management said that they would hold a director board meeting on February 9, to solve the pay-hike puzzle. However, the United Nurses’ Association (UNA), which is spearheading the agitation was not ready to accept the proposal. “If the management can give a better salary to the newly-appointed 50 nurses without holding a discussion at the board meeting, why can’t they give us a hike?”, asked UNA state president Jasmine Sha. He said that they would not withdraw from the strike until all their demands were met. Sha also said that the union would be staging a protest march on Saturday from the Lakeshore Hospital to Vyttila Junction, which would be attended by more than a thousand nurses.
The strike at the Lakshore Hospital has the support of many organisations and trade unions, he said. All India Nurses’ Welfare Association, Kolenchery, unit president Reena Reji had already made it clear that they would go ahead with the agitation. During the discussion on Thursday, the MOSCMC management had asked for time till February 9 to decide on the salary hike. Reena said that the union could not accept this.