Health workers would resort to trade union action on Thursday (01) against the government’s decision to increase the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance only for doctors. They belong to 72 trade unions.
The unions previously suspended their strike and gave the government time until 31 January to redress their grievances.
President of the Joint Council for Professions of Supplementary to Medicine, Ravi Kumudesh, told The Island yesterday (30) that two weeks back they had asked State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe and Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana to increase their salaries, using the same formula they had adopted to increase the salaries of doctors.
“If this formula is used, we won’t get as much as doctors. However, this would be the best way to avoid unnecessary squabbling. The Ministers agreed with us. However, they told us they could not do anything until President Ranil Wickremesinghe returned to Sri Lanka. “It is obvious that the President runs the country the way he wants, and that ministers are his players,” Kumudesh said.
National Organizer of the Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA), Sudath Jayasiri said most categories of health workers faced continuous discrimination because the government granted relief to doctors.
Public Service United Nurses’ Union Chief Secretary H.M.S Mediwatte said they would not join the trade union action. The government wanted to pit health workers against one another, he said.