Categorized | National News

Doctors May Have A Happy New Year

The two-year back and forth between the government and The Bahamas Doctors Union on a resolution for a new industrial agreement, may come to an end this week.

 Union President Dr. Charles Arthur Clarke said he has met with Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez since the Christmas holidays, and as a result, the union has received another proposal in which the minister feels should suffice for now.

 The last proposal presented to the union was rejected with one of the main reasons being due to an unacceptable salary.

 “The minister hopes that it’s actually something that we can be comfortable with for now with an acknowledgement that a provision would be put in the industrial agreement for salary review. What we hold him to is a time frame; and certainly commitment to the recommendations that would be from a committee drawn up from people from their side, inclusive of my side,” Dr. Clarke said.

 At this point, the union president said the union will take a few things into consideration, pertaining to the government’s most recent offer.

 “My provision was that we would have a pay rise of 100 percent. However, the reality is that it is easy to say, but it is very hard to truly actualize on it especially where there are a lot of other persons who are marginalized without jobs, without homes,” he said.

 “Homes were damaged. So it’s hard to really put that justification in,” Dr. Clarke said.

 “I think what we need to do now is accept a reasonable offer, keep their feet to the fire and certainly we must be policing our side and coming up with the best terms for us to work under,” he added.

 Dr. Clarke expects to meet with the health minister again on Thursday; and at that time, a decision whether the doctors accept the proposal will be made.

 Earlier this year, the doctors’ union marched in protest in Rawson Square with the main bone of contention being that Bahamian doctors are poorly paid.

 Many doctors expressed concerns that foreign doctors were awarded first preference in all areas pertaining to their jobs and conditions surrounding it.

 Additionally, Dr. Clarke claimed at that time that local doctors work as much as 60 hours overtime without any compensation.

 Meanwhile, he admitted that the union has seen efforts made by the government to settle the union’s queries.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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