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The Kerala High Court has issued notice to the Kerala State Government, the Malapparum District Programme Manager and various other authorities related to the same, upon a constitutional question to an order stipulating that the monthly salary of staff nurses be constricted to the number of days worked in a month.

The Petitioner United Nurses Association is a registered trade union impugning the order of the District Programme Manager, Arogyakeralam, Malapparum which stipulated that the monthly emolument of the nurses must be constricted to the number of days worked in a month, which is 27 with the maximum possible number of working days. The petitioner/association asserted that the new order is unlawful and despotic in nature as nurses are being deprived of their entire month’s salary and emolument only for their working days.

The Petitioner further argues that any order which denied nurses their legal right of emolument and leaves is illicit and infringing their natural rights, despite being during this unprecedented crisis of Covid-19, the health workers rendered their self-effacing services.

It is totally unjust and unreasonable to deny staff nurses their legitimate salary because they are the ones who are battling the whole year and are also most prone to the virus while protecting the people of the country.

The plea further asserted that though the initial order mandating a whole month’s salary was in force, even then also the same was also not executed, where the initial order was issued in recognition of the restless and menacing work of covid warriors.

Despite being the number of representations made by nurses association, the respondents were not acted upon. Considering the order, last year nurses were compelled to work an entire month without leave so as to receive the emolument for minimum of 27 days. Still, they were not being paid the same within a stipulated time period.

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The petition also stated that a Central Government Order mandating timely payments of salary to all the health care workers engaged in Covid-19 duty and also the apex court in a case of Dr. Arushi Jain vs. Union of India, Supreme Court pronounced that any contravention of Central government’s order with regard to payment to health workers could be considered as an offense under the Indian Penal Code read with the Disaster Management Act.  

For the time being the association has sought ceased on all proceedings, the order which was challenged and the matter is expected to be taken up on 10th March 2021.

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