The Telegraph
Monday , June 16 , 2014
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RIMS sets up crisis team

- Nurses on strike since June 12

Imphal, June 15: The Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, has set up a crisis-management team as the nurses’ strike entered the fourth day today without any sign of an early solution.

A majority of the nurses under the banner of RIMS Nurses’ Association struck work from 10am on June 12 to protest against promotion of a Scheduled Caste (SC) nursing sister to assistant nursing superintendent in February this year.

Alleging that the promotion of Ksh. Binodkumari was out of turn, the nurses’ association has stopped work demanding a stay on the promotion.

The director of the institute, S. Sekharjit, said Binodkumari was promoted according to the SC reservation quota.

After the director’s appeal to end the strike went unheeded, he suspended seven striking leaders, including the secretary of the nurses’ association, Kh. Mina Devi, terming the strike illegal.

The strike affected normal functioning of the institute’s hospital as a majority of the nurses joined it. The worst-hit sections are casualty, OT and ICU.

The hospital is managing with nurses who have not joined the strike. These include nurses on contract, those on probation and those belonging to SC and ST category. The total nurse strength of RIMS is 480.

“The director has instituted a seven-member management team headed N. Damayanti Devi, head of the anatomy department as the chairman to deal with the situation. The team today reviewed the functioning of the hospital after the strike,” Iboyaima Laithangbam, media adviser to the director, told The Telegraph.

Laithangbam said the team assessed that about 200 nurses, who did not join the strike, were still available in the hospital and added that they could manage the crisis in the hospital.

“From tomorrow, 150 nurses would be deployed at the casualty department, operation theatre, intensive care unit and gynaecology wards for functioning in full swing,” Laithangbam said.

Those still working had to work overtime to make up the shortage of nurses and the team plans to limit leaves of the nurses.

Nurses, belonging to the SC category, who have not joined the strike, are unhappy with the decision of the nurses’ association to stop work over promotion of Binodkumari.

“The development is unfortunate because the promotion was done in keeping with the reservation norms. We will not remain silent if anything is done against the interest of the SC. We will go to the court if the promotion is cancelled,” N. Sarda, secretary of RIMS Scheduled Caste Nurses’ Association, said.

She appealed to both sides to come to an amicable solution to end the strike. There are more than 30 SC nurses in RIMS. Binodkumari said she was upset by the strike. “People are suffering because of the strike. The demand to cancel my promotion is against the Constitution,” she said.

On the other hand, Mina Devi said suspensions did not affect the striking nurses and the strike would continue.

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