Maharashtra Minister Amit Deshmukh on Tuesday met a delegation of nurses of government hospitals, who have been on strike since May 28, an association of nurses said. Over 15,000 nurses from state-run hospitals, including 1,500 in Mumbai, went on strike to protest the state government’s decision to outsource the recruitment of nurses. Maharashtra State Nurses Association (MSNA) general secretary Sumitra Tote said a decision on whether to continue the strike will be taken after the minutes of the meeting with the state medical education minister are received.
The MSNA maintains that it is against recruitment of nurses on contract basis, as there is no job guarantee and the state will have no control over contractors who are known to pay less than stipulated wages. The organisation has also demanded nursing and education allowances for its members.
The Centre and some states pay nursing allowance of Rs 7,200. The benefit should be extended to nurses in Maharashtra as well, Tote said. Nurses had initially struck work on May 26 and 27, but later decided to go on an indefinite strike from May 28.