President instructs officials on granting nurses’ trade union demands

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed to take steps to grant the nurses’ trade union demands while considering the financial situation of the country and without affecting the overall government services.

“Health services including medical and nursing are highly valued. Take steps to provide approved nurses’ demands while understanding the financial situation in the country and without affecting the entire public service.”

The President had stated this during the discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (17) as per the request of the Public Services United Nurses’ Union (PSUNU), the President’s Media Division said.

The nurses’ trade union demands taken up for discussion included the establishing of a nursing university, the advancing of promotions for nursing officers from Grade II to Grade I, considering the existing 36 hours of working hours as 5 working days a week as 30 hours of duty, that the proposed Rs. 10,000 allowance is proportional to the Rs. 35,000 DAT allowance paid to medical professionals, issuing of the uniform allowance circular and extra service allowance at the rate of 1/100 of the basic salary.

The President instructed the Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Professor Sampath Amaratunge to amend the Higher Education Act and present it to Parliament expeditiously, and that steps be taken until then to amalgamate the nursing colleges and make them a national university.

Prof. Amaratunga said the Higher Education Act would be presented in Parliament within the month of April and the Nursing University would be established before the end of May.

The President instructed the Secretaries of health and finance ministries to make the necessary arrangements for the advancement of promotions from Grade II to Grade I and the granting of uniform allowance.

The President pointed out that despite the various difficulties, steps were taken to pay an allowance of Rs. 5,000 to all public servants from January. “When the demands of one group are fulfilled, another group makes demands again. But it is important for everyone to understand that not all demands can be considered in the midst of the current financial crisis,” he said.

Therefore, the President instructed the officials to discuss with the Ministry of Finance and other institutions and pay attention to the requests of nurses in a manner that does not affect the entire public service.

(Source: Ada Derana)