Some nurses threaten tougher action unless ...

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) has said that the protest staged yesterday afternoon is only a warning and if the government fails to heed their demands, including the implementation of delayed promotions for 4,000 nurses, they will resort to stronger trade union action shortly.  

GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya told The Island yesterday that senior nurses waiting for promotions had passed all required examinations but the Public Service Commission was yet to make its recommendations. Many nursing graduates had been waiting for recruitment for two years, he said. 

The GNOA also demanded the back-dating of Grade One promotions given after 12 years of service to 1988. 01. 01, a five-day work week, a risk allowance for all nurses, telephone and inventory allowances, cancellation of the gazette notification 1779, which handed over recruitment of nurses to provincial councils. 

Ratnapriya said that his union had held discussions with the Director General Health Services (DGHS) at the beginning of the year while more discussions and negotiations had been held with Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena but in vain.

The Health Ministry said that the GNOA was making a big noise, though the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) with a much bigger membership had sorted out nurses’ problems amicably.

Head of the PSUNU, Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thera said that Ratnapriya’s union was not a force to be reckoned with and the noises it was making should not be taken seriously. There were about 27,000 nurses in the country while there was a need for at least 36,000 of them, he said. The PSUNU had suggested that there should be one matron for 50 nurses each and one nursing sister for eight nurses each, the Thera added.

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