By CHARLEY PIRINGI
A NATIONWIDE strike by members of the Solomon Islands Medical Association (SIMA) will kick off this Friday.
This came after medical doctors who are members of the association refused the counter offer by the Government through the Ministry of Public Service after their meeting last week.
SIMA claimed that the counter offer does not reflect any significant change or revision in the current scheme of service.
As such a nationwide strike action is now underway but will come into full effect this Friday 22 December.
SIMA had issued a 28 days strike notice issued to the Ministry which lapsed yesterday.
SIMA President Dr. Claude Posala said that the strike action comes into effect as of Monday December 18, 2017, but they will have three days public awareness.
“After the end of the strike notice, SIMA will give 3 days for public awareness for the people on what to do during the course of strike period.
“The strike action comes into effect as of today (yesterday), but as professional body, we still respect human lives, especially life treating and emergency situation where we must attend to.”
He added that the Solomon Islands Government has criticised SIMA’s proposal as financially colossal and seemingly ignorant to Solomon Islands fiscal and economic status in regards to potentially implementing this proposal.
However, SIMA’s view has provided a proposal with an inflated budget to cater for bargaining purposes, but SIG has left SIMA with very little room for collective bargaining, said Dr Posala.
“SIG has provided 2 counter offers to SIMA in the past 2 weeks; however SIMA has refused the offers on the grounds that these counter offers do not address key areas and core issues in the scheme that needs to be revised.
“SIMA considers the revision of the doctors’ scheme of service as vital for moving into the future and SIMA believes SIG acknowledges this as well.”
Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Public Service Nego Sisiolo could do not pick up his mobile phone when contacted yesterday. He is believed to be on annual leave.
Supervising PS David Suirara was also unavailable on Monday for immediate comment.
The last SIMA nationwide strike was way back in 1999.