50,000 health employees to stage token strike

The Joint Council of Health Professionals (JCHP) yesterday issued a warning that trade unions in the health sector would resort to a token strike next week to pressure the government to rectify salary anomalies caused by a new salary structure introduced to the Railway Department.

Joint Convenor of the JCHP, Ajith P Tillekeratne warmed yesterday that 16 health sector trade unions inclusive of the Government Registered and Assistant Medical Officers (SRAMO), Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA), Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) and Paramedic trade unions would resort to a token strike on Wednesday (22).

“We are not against salaries being increased for railway workers, but the government should increase the salaries of the health services employees according to prevent anomalies,” he said.

No satisfactory action had been taken to date despite the unions’ appeal to the government to rectify the salary anomalies, he said.

Tillakeratne warned that approximately 50,000 health sector employees would strike, affecting OPD services, clinics, ward services and laboratory testing services in government hospitals.

He said, however, that women’s and children’s hospitals and cancer and renal care hospitals and mental health hospitals would be exempted from the strike.

Tillakeratne urged the relevant authorities to discuss the issue with all concerned trade unions. However, if no action was taken to resolve the issue the unions would be left with no alternative but to intensify trade union action, he warned. (DJ)

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