Categorized | National News

Heat Causes Walkout at PMH

Employees in the Records Department and kitchen at the Princess Margret Hospital walked off the job yesterday because of the sweltering heat, as there are no windows in those areas.

The situation at PMH worries Bahamas Public Services Union President Kimsley Ferguson, who wants the situation to be addressed. 

 “I am very concerned that we are not getting very good cooperation here from the administrator at this particular hospital when we do have concerns that are affecting the staff,” Ferguson said. 

“So, I want to put persons on notice that the Bahamas Public Services Union is not going to sit idly by and allow people to work under adverse working conditions without any views of how they are going to be resolved.  We need to serve notice.

“We don’t want to do anything that is going to affect the general public, but if it’s necessary to cause our voices to be heard, we understand and are aware that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.” 

If this matter is not resolved, the BPSU president said the union is prepared to up the ante with industrial action.  

Another concern the union has is that it seems the hospital has no backup plan for situations like these.

“Based on how rapid and consistently these units have been malfunctioning, my concern is whether or not there has been an assessment on if the units are aging and need to be replaced,” Ferguson said. 

“So, if it’s malfunctioning at that rate, then we need to look at how old the units are with a view to replacing them.

“We’re here to work with management at the hospital because we understand the importance of healthcare, but at the same time we need management to be sensitive to the fact that there are human beings working under these adverse conditions and when the point and time comes when it becomes unbearable we’re going to withdraw the staff.”  

The Bahama Journal reached out to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands who said the ministry is looking to solve this matter.

“The safety and comfort in at least have hospitable working conditions are obviously very important and in dealing with an aged physical plant sometimes these things happen, but you can only deal with a problem if you know about it right?” Dr. Sands said.   

“So now that we know about it, certainly, we will determine what has caused this to happen and ensure that the appropriate interventions take place.” 

The union president advised that just over 20 workers are impacted by this issue and is hopeful the matter will be addressed soon.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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