Nurses issue strike notice - Solomon Star News

Nurses issue strike notice

02 February 2019
Newly registered nurses during a graduation ceremony a few years ago. [File Photo]

Threaten to stop work starting Feb 27

NURSES across the country will go on strike starting February 27 if the government continues to ignore allowances it promised to pay the nurses.

This followed a 28-day strike notice the Solomon Islands Nurses Association (SINA) issued on Wednesday this week, which will lapse on February 26.

SINA national general secretary Steven Maitani said discussions his association had with the government during the course of last year led to the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Under the agreement, the government, represented by the Ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Finance, agreed to pay allowances SINA had negotiated for its members.

But in a letter to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Public Service, Maitani said:

“This notice (28-day strike) is issued on the grounds that the government had obviously failed to honour its promises made to the SINA executive. 

“The MOA and negotiations made were only seen as a mockery to the legitimacy of SINA as a registered trade union.

“The SINA financial members had been assured of the payment of allowances that had been agreed with a counter offer by the government for payment by first pay period January 2019; unfortunately to date it does not eventuate.

“All negotiations and agreements had been signed and endorsed by the Ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Finance.

“Unfortunately to date, nothing eventuated.”

Maitani said SINA was very considerate and understanding with the government on the status of essentiality of the services its members provide.

As a result, he said, they withdrew their previous strike notice with the notion to give enough time for the government to deal with the issues discussed at its administrative level and capacity.

“Unfortunately, the government continues to ignore our leniency and continue to ignore SINA’s position.

“This is a slap on the face of the SINA Executive as a legitimate trade union representing all nurses in this country.

“SINA was very serious with the government but the government does not honour its part,” Maitani said.

He said the strike notice is final and that there are no more avenues for negotiations.

Comments are being sought from the relevant ministerial heads on this issue.