Nov 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health has requested all the trade unions in the health sector not to launch the trade union action planned for today to win their demands as it would inconvenience the patients.
The Ministry has agreed to cooperate with all trade unions in the sector and hold discussions to meet their reasonable demands, the state-run radio reported.
Sri Lanka's joint council of the health sector trade unions have decided to hold a one day token strike on Friday to win some of their long standing demands.
The joint council of health sector trade unions of the nurses, Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) and paramedics plan to launch the strike action to demand the authorities to address several key issues including solutions to the long standing salary anomalies in the sector.
Other demands include solutions for inadequacies and discrepancies of salary increments, various allowances for communication, transport and overtime payment.
The Ministry has said that suitable recommendations regarding their demands have already been submitted to the Ministries of Finance and Public Administration.
The Health Services Trade Union Alliance says that 15 health sector unions will participate in today's token strike with a total workforce of 45,000 supporting the strike action.
Convener of the Trade Union Alliance Saman Rathnapriya has said that the unions were compelled to launch the trade union action as a last resort since the discussions with authorities have failed to resolve the long standing issues.
Rathnapriya has said that the health sector unions have had continuous discussions with the health authorities for solutions for problems that have not yet been addressed.
However, the Chairman of the Public Service United Nurses Union Venerable Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero has said that his association will not take part in today's token strike.
He has noted that it is totally unjustifiable to engage in a strike when solutions to number of issues can be reached through negotiations.