Categorized | National News

PHA Stands Firm On New Shifts For Nurses

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) is standing by its decision to implement a new shift system for Nurses and is seeking to set the record straight in response to yesterday’s demonstrations.

In a release, the PHA said that it confirmed the demonstration staged by the Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) on the grounds of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

The authority said it also confirmed that proactive steps were taken by the hospital’s management team to ensure that patients and other guests were able to access the facility without any obstruction.

The PHA said for the record, contrary to statements made by BNU President, Amancha Williams, there is an existing legally enforceable agreement dated December 9th, 2014, between the PHA and the BNU wherein: the parties agreed to a forty (40) hour work week; eight (8) hour shifts; ten (10) hours minimum rest period between shifts; and that persons working a shift between 6pm and 6am shall be paid a shift premium of $1.75.

The agreement was signed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Harcourt Brown, Maisie Evans, for Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Managing Director of the PHA, Herbert Brown and BNU President, at the time, Jannah Khalfani.

The Authority added that for further clarification, the hourly shift premium of $1.75 to be paid is in addition to the base pay that these nurses regularly receive.

The PHA strongly objected to assertions by the BNU President that the union was not given prior notice regarding the implementation of the standardized shift system.

It further argued that notwithstanding the 2014 agreement, several attempts were made to bring the BNU back to the table as outlined in the chronological chart attached which records 15 separate interactions.

The authority said it “maintains its position to implement the new standardized shift system for all nurses in its employ, effective 10th December, 2018.”

“We reiterate that this decision complies with the Bahamas Employment Act of 2001, the 2015 Industrial Agreement between The Public Hospitals Authority and the Bahamas Nurses Union, as well as the 9th December, 2014 agreement between the parties.

“The Authority stands by our decision to implement the new shift system as it not only levels the playing field for nurses across the PHA, but is a testament to the PHA’s ongoing commitment to ensure that its human resources policies are consistent with ratified labour agreements and regional and international standards of practice,” the statement said.

The PHA said it remains committed to improving the delivery of healthcare to patients by ensuring better patient o

Written by Jones Bahamas

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