Papua New Guinea Healthcare Workers Plan To Strike For 3 Weeks

Heath Support Workers Association 'fed up' at delays in getting their issues addressed

By Sharlyne Eri

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 8, 2016) – Health workers are scheduled to go on strike tomorrow for three weeks  to demand better terms and conditions.

Jack Suao, general secretary of the PNG Heath Support Workers Association (HSWA), said members were fed up with the long delay in addressing the issue. They voted for the strike in a secret ballot last month after getting the go-ahead by the Electoral Commission.

Suao said the proposed action was declared legal on Nov 15 by the Electoral Commission and the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) was given three weeks to respond but had failed to do so.

Suao said the strike was as a result of a prolonged delay in response to a log of claims (LOC) from the of DPM for improvement to their work terms and conditions.

He said the  delay by DMP Secretary John Kali to respond to the LOC was uncalled for as the HSWA was a legitimate body that served its lawful purpose.

“The action by DPM to take the industrial registrar to court for the judicial review of the registration of the HSWA was contradictory as Kali had failed to object the registration despite the prolonged period that the industrial registrar had given him,” Suao said.

He said the HWSA was legally registered by the industrial registrar and therefore had the right to lodge a LOC for an improvement in terms and conditions.

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