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ACNU to begin awareness campaign

2013 Jul 19

The All Ceylon Nurses' Union (ACNU) will begin a one-month-long awareness campaign in 100 hospitals, before engaging in stronger trade union action, demanding the government to introduce and implement a Nurses' Service Code.



ACNU President, H.M. Madiwatta, said nurses will launch intense trade union action, if the Nurses' Service Code is not implemented. He said the government had repealed the service code, which has been in existence since 1984. "Though a new service code had been introduced soon after, there were numerous flaws in it, and therefore it was not implemented," he pointed out.



As a result, nurses have been bereft of promotions, salary increments and other benefits for nearly three years now, he added.

"Since the 1984 Service Code was repealed, nurses have been in the same station with the same salary without being able to improve their position in life. We need a service code, which will benefit us and address our rights. Though we have made the Health Ministry aware of our requests, the ministry turned it down on the basis that none of the other nurses' unions had made such a request. The other unions are already in the government's pockets and will not be doing anything which will inconvenience the ministry," Madiwatte alleged. Speaking about yesterday's strike, which was carried out by the Government Nursing Officers' Union (GNOA), he claimed the strike was a complete flop as the GNOA did not work hand in hand with the other nurses' unions.



"Had there been a joint trade union action, their demands would have been met as the government would have more trade unionists working collectively together to contend with," he added.

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