GOVERNMENT has been given another 14 days to settle nurses’ arrears of almost $10 million for the past two years since 2013.
This was agreed following a meeting between Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Public Service and Solomon Islands Nurses Association in Honiara last Friday.
This came after the nurses threatened to go on strike.
According to medical sources, government needs to produce an accurate and quality data on the 1000 plus nurses before submitting it to Cabinet for blessing and payment by finance following after.
“The government has shown commitment to pay the arrears but it needs to sort out the data entry of the teachers,” the source said.
Furthermore, the nurses threatened to go on strike because government has failed to increase their special dirty allowance and multi-allowance while other departments in the health sector enjoy the benefits.
It was further revealed that when the government increased their basic salary back in 2013, it did not increase the mid-scale level which supposed to be increased together with the basic increase.
The source said after the meeting, the Ministry of Public Service urged all nurses to return to work in the National Referral Hospital and clinics.
SINA general secretary, Sue Sikihi said they will return to work but government will need to settle their arrears by 4th June after it was extended.
She said SINA will monitor the situation and if government does not settle their arrears, they will go on strike.
By EDDIE OSIFELO