Categorized | National News

PHA Explains Junior Doctors’ Holiday Pay

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) yesterday explained that in the Bahamas Doctors Union’s (BDU) Industrial Agreements of 2014 and 2017, related to holiday pay, it was recommended and approved by the PHA Board for Management to negotiate a settlement of holiday pay for junior doctors to cover the period from June 16, 2014 through October 31, 2018. 

This was at an amount approximating $4.98 million, as indicated in a statement released by the PHA. 

The PHA indicated that it insisted on mandating use of its time and attendance system moving forward to properly monitor and maintain information to assist in the calculation of holiday pay for these doctors. 

The issue of outstanding holiday pay for junior doctors had lingered for years with no independent basis from which to pay. 

 “This has been due mainly to doctors not utilizing the Acustaf Time Management System (time clocks) while all other employees of the PHA have done so. Junior doctors have been attempting to provide roster schedules and holiday pay forms authorized by the consultant physicians, neither of which are reliable confirmation of service,” the PHA’s statement read.

“Given the inability to identify amounts due directly to each doctor, management determined a more generic approach to payment that will provide payment to all junior doctors on a prescribed basis.”

It said that management was able to confirm that there were 47 holidays during the period in question, with a total of 429 junior doctors on staff. 

On average, it said that only 108 junior doctors are required to work on-call each holiday.

Given this information, management was able to calculate $5.9 million in double time for 47 holidays for 108 doctors on call each holiday. 

A total of $995,708 was reduced for normal base pay and was also already incorporated in it.

It also found that there was $4.9 million in net PHA exposure to holiday pay. 

The average payout per junior doctor also totaled $11,605. 

 A qualitative analysis indicated that the junior doctors have agitated that they are entitled to a full 48 hours of compensation for on call services provided during holidays. 

Management, however, advised that eight of these hours are considered normal shift for which they receive payment monthly in their salary package, leaving only 41 hours of double time required. 

The PHA said, “We also note that all current junior doctors were not in those positions during the entire period in question, therefore the $11,605 per junior doctor will be prorated based on the number of holidays occurring during their employ over the period.”

It further stated that both the PHA and the BDU have since agreed on the amount to be paid, but reached an impasse on the period over which the payments would be made. 

 “The BDU proposed four semiannual payments while the PHA proposed six. The PHA ultimately proposed five semi-annual payments, but the BDU failed to accept. The costs (two of the five proposed installments) were incorporated into the PHA’s request for funding for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, but due to a lack of full funding, this item was not allocated any funds for payment,” the PHA explained. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook