Health workers in two-hour protest



A section of the protesting health employees
(Pic by Gamini Munasinghe)

Nurses, professions supplementary to medicine (PSM) and paramedics staged a two hour protest yesterday afternoon demanding that the Health Ministry grant several of their demands, including rectification of discrepancies in several allowances.

Joint Convener of the Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JC-NPSMP), Saman Jayasekara said that over 2000 health workers of the nursing PSM and paramedics participated in the march from opposite the National hospital passing Carey College, the University Grants Commission, Town Hall, to the Health Ministry where they staged a protest.

The Unions demanded that the Health Ministry resolve their grievances within two weeks by convening a meeting with them, failing which they would resort to yet another strike which would affect the Health service badly.

The JC-NPSMP demands include increase in overtime payment to Rs. 200 per hour, Rs. 1000 transport allowance and Rs. 4000 communication allowance for First and Special Grade officers.

Jayasekara also said that the Health Ministry should take immediate steps to re-implement Grade One to Special Grade promotions which had been suspended for over eight years as the suspension had seriously affected the salary increments which the nursing, PSM and paramedic categories were entitled to. It had also increased discrepancies between the salaries of professional and technical services, he said.

The Joint Convener added that there were also several salary anomalies to be corrected and those outstanding dues had not been paid for the past five years.

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