Raajje.mv said around 400 nurses across the Maldives had signed and submitted the petition, which is addressed to Health Minister Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim.
The 12-point petition lists concerns including working hours exceeding that of other civil service employees, no risk allowance and no shift allowance.
Nurses also say there is discrimination in acknowledging qualifications and experience.
The ministry said the guidelines were to help nurses pursue further education and training through appraisals, as well as “encouraging” nurses.
Nurses at publicly owned hospitals and health centres will be appraised every two years based on their educational qualifications and performance.
If a nurse’s previous basic monthly salary was MVR5,600 (US$362), the new guidelines push it up to MVR9,000. A service allowance of MVR2,500 goes up to MVR3,000, local media reported.
A risk allowance, which attendants, receptionists and doctors at hospitals and island health centres were eligible for, and a shift duty allowance has been cancelled, meaning earnings are lowered by about MVR700.
In 2014, a total of 3,828 medical staff were reported to be working in all public health facilities and more than half of these were nurses.
File photo showing Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital