Bringing an end to the weeks-long protests of thousands of private hospital nurses in the state, the LDF government on Thursday agreed to implement the Supreme Court directive of a minimum salary of Rs 20,000 to all nurses.

The decision was taken in a meeting between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the representatives of the two nurses' associations at his office on Thursday evening. 

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Talking to the reporters after the meeting, Pinarayi said that the decision to implement the wage hike was unanimous. The Chief Minister also said that a panel would be set up to study the other demands of the nurses.

Nurses under the banner of United Nurses Association (UNA) and Indian Nurses Association (INA), which held relay dharna in front of the secretariat for than a month, had announced an indefinite strike from Monday, but put it on hold till Thursday following the government's intervention. 

CM to hold talks with nurses, hospitals agree to pay salary fixed by govt

Lok Sabha members from Kerala had highlighted the "pitiable condition" of nurses in the Parliament on Wednesday, saying many of them are given a paltry salary of Rs 3000 to 5000 per month despite an SC order fixing the minimum salary at Rs 20,000. 

An estimated 80,000 nurses were expected to join the strike. The Kerala High Court, on the other hand, had restrained nurses from holding the indefinite strike on a petition by private hospitals which contended the nurses' services fall under the ambit of essential services.