JUST as Honiara-based members of the Solomon Islands Nurses Association (SINA) have returned to work after a two-day lightning sit-in protest, another group of frontline workers has threatened staging a similar sit-in protest.
Police officers on frontline duties in the emergency zone, which covers the area between Alligator Creek in east Honiara to Poha River in the west, claimed the Government had scrapped their COVID-19 fortnightly allowance without an explanation.
Frontline officers are responsible for attending all quarantine stations in Honiara as well as new overseas arrivals at Henderson International Airport.
Payment of their allowance of $500 each a fortnight has suddenly stopped this week without any explanation, according to a police officer who requested anonymity.
“We made representation to the Government, but no one has come forward to explain why our allowance was not included on our payslip this week. Our position now is we will go to our offices but we are not taking any orders,” the officer told Solomon Star yesterday.
“All the police officers from Henderson Airport to White River are staging a sit-in protest because the government has suddenly removed our fortnightly allowance,” he said.
“We know our superiors would not like this but the nature of our frontline duties must be acknowledged by the Government.
“For this reason, we are demanding an explanation from the Accountant General on why our allowances were discontinued,” the officer said.
“We need assurance that our allowances would be restored. In the past, the allowance is paid with our salary. We have received our payslip and our allowance was nowhere to be seen.”
Last week Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare suspended SINA after its Honiara-based members staged a lightning sit-in strike, which has since ended.
The nurses have since returned to work.