Sri Lankan public servants disrupt work, demanding higher pay

Mar. 16 (LBO) – Hundreds of Sri Lankan public servants marched into the city of Colombo Thursday demanding higher wages as part of a one-day nationwide strike, which disrupted work in rail, postal and health services, union officials said.

-Mel Gunasekera: mel@vanguardlk.com

The Public Sector Salary Review Trade Unions Committee, an umbrella of 200 unions representing 300,000 workers, called the strike demanding higher pay for those employed in low and middle income jobs.

“We are asking for the salary increase given to doctors, administrative cadre, engineers and accountants be equally given to those working in junior posts,” health union spokesman Saman Ratnapriya said.

Under a recent government circular, those working in low and middle level jobs got a 25 percent pay hike, while medical services got 46 percent and accounting/administrative services received 65 percent increment from January 1.

While their salary anomalies are corrected, the combine trade unions are asking for a Rs. 3,000 across the board increment from January 1.

“If our demands are not met, we will continue to disrupt government services in the days ahead,” the unions said in a joint statement.

W