KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The KIST Medical College of Lalitpur remains closed for the past 18 days after its employees padlocked the college and its teaching hospital demanding pay raise.
The trade unions, mainly affiliated to the left alliance parties, padlocked the medical college and teaching hospital demanding Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 hike in their salaries, according to KIST sources.
There are more than 600 staffers including over 400 non-teaching staff at the medical college. The last time their salaries had been raised was two years ago. The employees are demanding talks with the college administration, but the administration has demanded that the unions should withdraw the strike before they could sit for talks.
KIST has reportedly proposed to increase the monthly salaries by Rs 1,000 for non-teaching staff and Rs 1,500 for lecturers and Rs 2,000 for professors.
KIST chief administrator Akshyaya Gautam said that the government has fixed a minimum salary of Rs 9,600 but they have been paying Rs 1700 more even to the junior-most staffers and claimed that the demand of the agitators is impossible to fulfill.
Gautam informed that KIST spends Rs 20 million per month on salaries and college expenditures while it has a bank loan of Rs 90 million. “The income of medical college which has 90 students is not enough to meet the expenses,” KIST officials claimed.
About 600 patients used to come to the 708-bed teaching hospital every day until the unionists padlocked the hospital. At present, the bed occupancy is only 60-65 percent, according to Gautam.