Health sector unions say they are cheated

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Health Service Trade Union Confederation (HSTUC) yesterday expressed its dissatisfaction with the 2013 budgetary proposals stating that its public sector employees had been cheated once again as they had not been given a salary increment since the 2006 budget. Co-President of the HSTUC, Ravi Kumudesh said that instead, the government had given the public services a pittance of an increases in allowances.

Kumudesh accused the government of double standards. They encouraged the development of the private sector, while recruiting large numbers into public service without planning, he said.

The HSTUC is a coalition of 22 heath service trade unions which includes the Public Service United Nurses Union, dispensers, pharmacists and MLT unions.

Secretary of the Public Health Inspector Union, of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) Senarath Bandara said that the government was yet to resolve longstanding monetory issues faced by PHIs such as the their demands for fuel, office and uniform allowances. The PHIUSL would discuss the demands with the Health Ministry and the Treasury before deciding on what to do. The Budget would only help create more disparities among health service salaries and allowances, he said.

General Secretary of the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM), Saman Jayasekara said the government should take steps to resolve the demands which had been handed over to the treasury, instead of creating more disparities among Health professions. They warned that more disparities would be created with the 2013 budget.

The Public Service Trade Union Confederation (PSTUC) said that the 2013 budget had forgotten the working class. Coordinator for the PSTUC, Saman Ratnapriya said that it had also overlooked the welfare of the public. The prices of cement and flour were increased even before the budget while the price of milk food too would be increased very soon, he added.

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