Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
11 Jun, 2021 | 10:45 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The Joint Health Workers Union is conducting a trade union action citing several demands, on Friday morning (Jun. 11), the Government Nursing Officers Association said.
In total 26 Healthcare Trade Unions including nursing service and junior health staff will join the strike action, Saman Rathnapriya, the President of the Government Nursing Officers Association told News 1st on Friday (Jun. 11).
According to Rathnapriya, a nationwide protest movement will also be carried out in line with the trade union action, demanding health authorities to provide the relevant facilities with regard to managing the COVID-19 pandemic that healthcare staff is not provided at the moment.
Around 100,000 healthcare workers of the Joint Health Workers Union will join the trade union action, which will be conducted at around 1300 healthcare institutions including hospitals, Rathnapriya said.
“However, the strike action will NOT be conducted at any hospital where COVID-19 patients are receiving treatment including COVID-19 treatment units and Intermediate Care Centres,” Saman Rathnapriya emphasized.
He went on note that the health authorities have failed to provide N-95 Masks and PPE kits for healthcare workers, while the transportation facilities are also lacking; moreover, the Ministry of Health has failed to provide meals for healthcare workers at COVID-19 units.
“While healthcare workers of the middle and lower tiers are YET to be provided with any sort of relief, the benefits of the medical staff have been increased from Rs. 42,000 to Rs. 78,000,” Saman Rathnapriya, the President of the Government Nursing Officers Association pointed out.
When News 1st inquired with Dr. Asela Gunawardena, the Director-General of Health Services regarding the matter, he said despite discussions held with the respective trade unions, the issues could not be resolved.
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