Health workers to launch an action

A number of trade unions in the health sector have decided to launch a trade union action to win over the unresolved issues facing the country’s health staff. The Joint Health Trade Union Collective comprising of more than 20 trade unions in the health sector has taken this decision.

This Trade Union collective states that despite the request to the Ministry of Health to resolve the following demands before June 1, no acceptable solution has been given so far and the trade unions have decided to launch an action. Their demands are as follows.

1. Appointment of a Trade Union Committee headed by the Director General of Health Services to strengthen the COVid-19 crackdown.

2. Provide equipment to all health staff to protect against the disease.

3. Appointing trade union representatives to hospital Covid committees and reactivating hospital advisory committees with the participation of Trade Unions;

4. Granting special leave to the pregnant health staff;

5. Granting special leave to all health staff;

6. Payment of holiday allowances to the staff who report for duty on special public holidays;

7. Provide regular and free transport facilities for health staff;

8. Provide treatment and quarantine facilities to staff in case of Covid-19 infection;

9. Allowing staff with special difficulties to report for duty at a nearest hospital;

10. Giving daily salaries to substitute / casual health assistants during special holidays and quarantine periods;

11. Filling of all vacancies immediately,

12. Confirmation of casual and substitute health assistants,

13. Removal of limitations on overtime, holiday allowances, telephone facilities etc. to staff,

14. Arrange a procedure to provide regular meals to all employees on covid-19 duty and to provide meals on days when there are travel restrictions;

15. Payment of a special allowance for providing risky and difficult services during the covid-19 epidemic situation,

The Health Trade Union Collective states that employees of the Jaffna, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Peradeniya, Kalubowila, Karapitiya, Ratnapura Teaching Hospitals and the Kandy National Hospital as well as the Sri Lanka National Hospital will be closed from 7.00 am till 12.00 noon on June 3 as the health authorities have failed to address these demands. It has been decided to leave the service and to hold a silent protest from 12.00 noon to 12.30 pm on the same day.

Wijepala Weerakoon