ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Federation of Health Professionals has announced an island wide token strike for November 24 and 25, demanding that the government make the health profession a closed service and resolve salary anomalies.
Union chief Ravi Kumudesh told reporters on Tuesday (23) that around 50,000 health workers will join the token strike the next two days.
“Neither the ministry of health nor any other relevant authority has held discussions with medical professionals regarding the previous token strike carried out on November 17,” said Kumudesh, noting the following demands for the next phase of the strike:
- As approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on July 05, 2021
a. 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
- Establishing the correct salary scale relevant to the professional degree and obtaining suitable posts/employment opportunities.
- Establishment of a “Health Administration Service” representing all health professionals
- “Ranug’s Salary Committee Report” approved by the Cabinet regarding the correction of salary anomalies has not yet been implemented.
- Special Duty Allowance to Increase up to 10,000 rupees.
- 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.
- 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.
“We’re on the path to a continuous strike. We took every possible action to draw attention to this issue, but there were no response from any health authority,” he said.
“Do not come saying whoever wants to leave can leave or it is unfair that the workers are going for a strike at this time.
“This service needs a pay hike. It is because of the government and private sector employees this country is still functioning. Not because of anyone shouting in parliament,” he said.
Kumudesh said there are still opportunities for discussion to avoid this course of action. The strike will not take place in children, maternity, cancer and COVID-19 hospitals and emergency services will continue, he added. (Colombo/Nov23/2021)