Public sector medical officers and university lecturers are on an island-wide token strike today (Nov. 02). The trade union action was initiated as a protest against the government’s tax policies and delays in providing solutions for the salary issues.

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) on Wednesday (Nov. 01) announced that its members would resort to a series of provincial-level 24-hour token strikes from today, starting from Uva Province.

Accordingly, medical officers at all government hospitals in Uva Province have been on a 24-hour strike since 8 a.m. this morning. After they call off the strike at 8 a.m. tomorrow, medical officers in the Northern Province will commence their one-day token strike.

Subsequently, the medical officers in North Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces will stage their 24-hour token strikes on November 06 (Monday) and 07 (Tuesday), respectively.

On November 08 (Wednesday), token strikes are expected at hospitals in Central and Eastern provinces.

Medical officers in Southern and North Central provinces will join the series of token strikes on November 09 (Thursday), followed by medical officers in Western Province on November 10 (Friday).

The GMOA, however, assured that the functions at maternity, cancer, children’s, and nephrology hospitals as well as at tri-forces hospitals would not be affected by this trade union action.

The association said the authorities, who have turned a blind eye to the issues it has raised including the brain drain of doctors, should take responsibility for the inconveniences faced by the patients as a result of these token strikes.

Meanwhile, the lecturers at all 17 state universities in the country too have launched a token strike today, as per a decision taken by the State Service Trade Unions Alliance and the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA). The trade union action was initiated as a protest against the prevailing salary issue and the slashing of funds granted to state universities.


Strikes in Sri Lanka