Aug 20, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today ordered the relevant authorities to resolve the trade union issues in the health sector within three months.
The President instructed the relevant officials after considering a set of proposals presented to him by the representatives of 27 health sector trade unions today at Temple Trees.
The junior workers of All Ceylon Health Services Union at Sri Lanka's government hospitals launched an island wide strike today demanding the government among others to include implementation of 6/2006 circular on salary structure and pay the arrears, and make the casual workers permanent.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party trade union is not participating in this trade union action.
The Ministry of Health has requested the striking employees to return to work without inconveniencing the poor patients receiving free services of government health facilities.
The Ministry said that the demands presented by the striking employees were discussed with them on several occasions and maximum facilities have been already provided. In addition, they have been given the opportunity to discuss with the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and other relevant institutions their issues that are outside the responsibility of the Health Ministry.
The Ministry has said that solutions to these issues should be taken by the government as it affects the whole public service.
However, the union leaders say the discussions with relevant authorities have failed to gain any satisfactory result.
The Ministry said that the striking employees have been already informed that allocations will be made to solve their problems in the 2015 budget.
(Photos by Chandana Perera)