THE Solomon Islands Nurses Association (SINA) has issued a 28-day strike notice to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) last Friday over a possible breach by the Ministry over an agreement signed in 2007.
National General Secretary of SINA Steven Maitani said under the Memorandum of Agreement, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Service had agreed to implement six Schemes of Services and condition of service of nurses.
He said unfortunately, the MOA was not honoured, pursued and implemented by the respective ministries.
Under the MOA, the Ministry of Health and the Public service agreed to implement the nurses Scheme of Services and conditions on six areas.
1. That the claims for transport, posting and housing allowances be dealt with by the Public service as part of the harmonization program of all scheme of services;
2. That the five claims remaining be forwarded to Cabinet with full justification given by the SINA on the additional conditions and their respective rates. This include a mechanism to monitor performance of SINA members;
3. That a Cabinet paper be produced requesting the Cabinet to deliberate on the claims no later than 2007;
4. That the budget allocation for the vacancies be used to meet all the claims hence necessitates the freezing of recruitment in the MHMS for three months;
5. That the government and SINA will not enter into negotiation of any increase in salary or conditions unless it is based on approved performance and productivity after three years;
6. SINA to withdraw the strike notice
He said the government through the Ministry had breached their part of negotiation and MOA by unauthorised deduction of salaries during nurses annual leave, non-payment or partial payment of nurses’ allowances, posting allowances are never paid to staff posting to the remote and provinces, transport allowances never been paid, domestic allowance never been paid, removal of the post of national director of nursing and removal of Assistance National Director of Nursing Administration and Research.
He said the Nurses Scheme of services was endorsed and approved by Cabinet on October 11, 2007.
The Cabinet noted and support the MOA for the condition of services for Solomon Islands Nurses and directed the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Public Service to incorporate new incentives costing in the 2008 staffing establishment.
“Unfortunately since 2007 until 2018 nothing has been done.
“On this note it has been noted that Ministry of Health and Public Service had failed their end of the Agreement, so breach their part of agreement,” he said.
Mr Maitani said the Association has delivered the strike notice to the Ministry of Health late last week and they should have been already aware of it.
By CHARLES KADAMANA