PSM toughens stand, will decide on strike todayOctober 24, 2012, 9:47 pm
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
In the aftermath of a protest march and a two-hour walkout yesterday, the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) yesterday warned they would give the government only a week to grant their demands, which include increased overtime and on-call allowances.
PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekara warned that they would launch an indefinite strike and a final decision on it would be taken during a general committee meeting scheduled for today (25).
Jayasekara said that PSM from 24 hospitals and health institutions in the Colombo District had participated in yesterday’s protest march which commenced opposite the National Hospital’s Bandaranaike building at noon.
The PSM include Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs), occupational therapists, physiotherapists, Pharmacists and, X-ray technicians. The protesting PSM included those serving at the NHSL, Ragama and Kalubowila Teaching hospitals, Lady Ridgeway, De Soyza Maternity Hospital, the Medical Research Institute and the Medical Supplies Division.
The General Secretary said the two-hour walkout commenced parallel to the protest march at 12.00 noon. PSM from 564 hospitals countrywide staged the walkout in protest against the government’s lax attitude towards their demands. Jayasekara said that the PSM had not received any salary increases since 2001.
He said there were over 600 PSM graduates from three batches belonging to five categories which include nursing awaiting recruitment. The Cabinet had appointed a committee to look into the issue in 2010 it was yet to submit its report to the Cabinet, he said.
The PSM also demands that the government re-commence giving PSM promotions to those who have completed 12 years of service. The process had to an abrupt halt in 2005, he added.
However the Health Ministry said that the issue was not in their hands and that the Treasury would have to take the final decision.
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