The union movement is very new in the Maldives. PSI’s new affiliate, the Maldives Health Professionals Union (MHPU) formed in 2019. But just as they started organising, the pandemic hit. Now the union is seeking our support for a campaign to get health workers a well-deserved pay rise and fair conditions.
Since 2008, job structures for all health professionals in public hospitals in Maldives have been on hold. The absence of a job structure denies workers promotion opportunities. At the same time, salaries and wages have not been reviewed for more than fifteen years for workers in the public health sector.
Following the national elections in 2018, nurses got their career pathway (job structure). However, no salary revisions or career pathway was introduced for allied health professionals and health support staff which include:
Audiologists and Speech Therapists
Food and Safety Professionals
Health Inspectors Professionals
Health Policy Managers
Medical Laboratory Technologists
Medical and Dental Prosthetists Professionals
Medical Imaging Technologists
Medical Records and Health Information
Paramedics and Emergency Management
Health Support Staff - Clinical Assistants, other non medical technical staff (electricians, plumbers, etc), customer relations officers, attendants, procurement officers.
In 2019, Maldives Health Professionals Union (MHPU) formed and started lobbying the government to enact a technical job structure for all allied health professionals in the public sector. This includes implementation of job structures that ensure promotions and significant salary increments for all health professionals including the support staff.
Earlier this year, the Government of Maldives started the National Pay Harmonization Work, a new job classifications and career pathway applicable to all state-employed workers. This was first implemented to the teachers in May 2022 resulting in significant pay rise.
The government of Maldives has submitted the budget 2023 to parliament, which includes a budget for the implementation of new job structure for health technical workers (i.e. Doctors, Nurses and all allied health professionals). This is a major win for MHPU. However, health support staff which comprise 40% of health care workers in the public sector are still excluded.
MHPU has completed three cycles of negotiations with the ministry of health, civil service commission, ministry of finance, national pay commission and the president's office which spanned from 2019 to March 2022. Since May 10, 2022, MHPU has held Thursday pickets calling on the government for a date to implement the job structures for all health care workers.
PSI calls on its global affiliates to support and amplify the campaign of our affiliate in Maldives for a fair promotion plan and significant pay rise for ALL healthcare workers.