|Nurses’ December payments still outstanding|
ROYSTON JONES Jr.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Dec 22, 2012
Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President and South Beach MP Cleola Hamilton yesterday could not commit to a time frame for nurses who work in the public health system to be paid a holiday lump sum.
The news comes just days after several members of the union threatened to take industrial action if BNU officials and the government failed to deliver on promised December payments.
Hamilton said she is
working “feverishly” with other officials to ensure the payment is made as quickly as possible, but she could not confirm whether this would take place in January or February.
The union president assured that the financing is in place to make the payments, but there was a delay.
“The group of nurses that [was] paid, [was] paid from the Public Hospitals Authority because the expedition of their finances was a little quicker than the Ministry of Health,” the union president said.
“The nurses in the Ministry of Health will still be paid. It is only that the process is a little longer.”
According to several nurses who work in the public health system in New Providence and the Family Islands, an emergency union meeting was held three weeks ago.
The group of nurses claimed on Wednesday that in that meeting Hamilton announced that nurses would receive $1,000 in their holiday packages on December 18.
At the time, a senior nurse claimed that many members had attempted to contact both union and Ministry of Health officials to get answers, but without success.
She claimed the majority of members are prepared to strike and said they feel abandoned by the union.