Nov 20, Colombo: Nursing trade unions in Sri Lanka are threatening to launch a continuous island wide strike action to win their demands including a salary increase and the action may cripple the functioning of state sector hospitals.
The Government Nursing Officer's Association (GNOA) says the strike action would be due to the failure of the health authorities to address the demands of the nurses.
Head of the GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya said that discussions with the Health Minister and the Health Ministry Secretary have not brought solutions to their demands.
Among the demands of the nursing staff is an increase in overtime payment and risk allowance, recruiting of graduate nurses to the public sector, canceling the gazette that allows Provincial Councils to recruit nurses and reducing the six-day work week to five.
The GNOA called a 24 hour token strike on November 15 against the failure of the health authorities and Ratnapriya noted that close to 80 percent of the nurses in the state hospitals had participated in it.
However, he added that the trade union action would not obstruct emergency services and services at the Castle Street Hospital, De Soyza Maternity Hospital, National Cancer Institute, Maharagama, Lady Ridgeway Children's Hospital and National Eye Hospital.