By ANDREW FANASIA
THE Public health nurses will not be taking any strike action as they wait for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to consider their concerns regarding their allowances.
Speaking to this paper last night, the Nurses Union spokesperson exclusively confirmed that the strike will not happen as reported in the media, Tuesday.
The spokesperson said that the public health nurses and officers have agreed to give time to the MHMS COVID-19 planning team and the Permanent Secretary to address their concerns.
“As discussed in our meeting late yesterday, COVID-19 allowance is one of the main agendas that we felt that we have been deprived of by the MHMS and the Coordinating Office.
“If the allowance is not paid, then the MHMS and other responsible authorities have failed miserably to honor their side of the bargain and further contradicts the objective mutually agreed between us,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson further stressed that according to the objectives which were clearly outlined since the public health officers/nurses were tasked to handle the frontline job; that the ministry responsible was committed to rewarding them.
“However, since June the public health officers/nurses do not receive their allowances and that’s the main reason for their frustration,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said to go on strike is something the public health nurses and officers can do but then they have to consider other departments or units within the health sector.
“Just to confirm that we won’t take any strike action just yet but allow the MHMS to work on our demand,” the spokesperson confirmed last night.
This paper understands that the public health nurses are responsible to do daily monitoring of people in the quarantine centers as well as carrying out COVID-19 testing amongst other things.
This is a very risky task that needs the ministry responsible to consider as officers responsible are putting themselves in harm’s way for the good of the country.