Health sector promised to refund deductions

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The trade union coalition action scheduled for yesterday (26), was called off following a meeting with Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and Ministry officials in which the latter party agreed to pay back deducted salaries and annul a circular that led to salary cuts.

The discussions focused on possibilities of reimbursing the extra duty payments and allowances that had been deducted. The joint trade unions said the Minister and his officials agreed to their request to pay the deducted amounts and for the annulment of the circular that led to the salary cuts.

Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe also issued instructions not slash the wages of health services in accordance with a circular that had been issued previously.

The President of the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM), Ravi Kumudesh who had taken part in the meeting with the Premier, said that the latter had promised to give precedence to the State Health Service.

The PM said that even though he would be forced to trim down allocations made to several sectors, such a process would not be followed with regard to state health – thereby allocations made to it would not be reduced.

The circular called for a reduction in the monthly pay packet by reducing allowances and extra duty allowances if it exceeded the basic salary of employees.

Kumudesh said that the pay packet they had received on Wednesday (25) had been reduced compared to the ones they had received previously.  However, this was before the meeting with the Premier, he said. 

By Dilanthi Jayamanne and Faadhila Thaasim