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Tuesday May 17th, 2022

Sri Lanka health workers to protest, strike against unmet demands

ECONOMYNEXT – Government health workers in Sri Lanka will launch trade union action starting Wednesday (08) against what it called the government’s failure to address their grievances, the Academy of Health Professionals (AHP) said.

AHP chairman Ravi Kumudesh told reporters on Tuesday (07) that nursing, paramedical and other professionals in the sector as well as medical laboratory scientists will join the campaign.

“As a first step, a protest will be held tomorrow (08) in front of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital with health workers of all hospitals and health institutions in the North Western Province, without reporting for duty,” Kumudesh said.

“A similar trade union campaign will be launched in all hospitals in the Central Province on Thursday (09).”

Kumudesh said the series of protests will continue in all provinces, culminating in an island-wide continuous strike and a decision to abstain from services until the authorities’ “eyes and ears are opened”.

The unions demand that the authorities eliminate existing salary disparities in the sector. The unions had earlier launched an island wide token strike on November 23 and 25.

At that time the union’s demands were

  1. As approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on July 05, 2021
    With regard to confirmation of staff ownership
    b. With regard to the first class promotion system after 12 years
    i) Delay in issuance of Circular for Complementary Physicianand Intermediate medical professions
    ii) Obtaining Cabinet Approval for Postponement of the relevant decision till 01/11/2010 to remove the anomalies


  1. Establishing the correct salary scale relevant to the professional degree and obtaining suitable posts/employment opportunities.


  1. Establishment of a “Health Administration Service” representing all health professionals


  1. “Ranug’s Salary Committee Report” approved by the Cabinet regarding the correction of salary anomalies has not yet been implemented.


  1. Special Duty Allowance to Increase up to 10,000 rupees.


  1. In determining the overtime rate, calculate 1/80 of the basic salary for all health care professions and increase the call and sample allowance accordingly.


  1. Making the health service a closed service.

Kumudesh said workers will not accept responsibility for any inconvenience caused to the public by the strike action and that officials who have neglected their official responsibilities by blocking the discussion space to resolve staff issues should accept that responsibility. (Colombo/Dec07/2021)


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