20 Dec 2005

PNG Government says it could take legal action against striking nurses

7:27 pm on 20 December 2005

Papua New Guinea's Acting secretary for the Department of Health says it is considering legal action against the nurses strike.

Dr Isaac Ake says the Industrial Registrar has declared the strike by thousands of nurses, which began on Monday, illegal.

Nurses stopped work in protest at the government's lack of action and stalled negotiations over renewed contracts.

They are calling for an award agreed in 2000 to be fulfilled and have asked for salary levels to be raised and back pay made by the end of the month.

But Dr Isaac Ake says the Government is now considering its options.

"Being thought about also is taking a court injunction to stop nurses from going on further strike. That's available for us to use. But even if we take the court injunction, I don't know whether it will make any changes in terms of the nurses demands."

Dr Isaac Ake, PNG's Acting Secretary for the Dept of Health