Categorized | National News

Strike Imminent For Nurses Union

Bahamas Nurses’ Union (BNU) is still up in arms with a litany of concerns they say still needs to be addressed, as they wait for the Director of Labour to response to their strike application.

​Speaking with reporters at a press conference yesterday, flanked by nurses and other union representatives, Nurses’ Union President Amancha Williams said a strike is imminent.

​“We’ve already been to the drawing table and we want the country to know that we’ve been very patient, very lenient, for seven to ten years, I think that’s more than patient.

​“We have filed a dispute and we have filed for a strike vote; we’re just waiting for the government to reply to us.

​“When are they going to give us a strike poll? We have spoken to Robert Farquharson, the Director of Labour and we have also addressed the minister and so we’re just waiting for them to give us a date and time when we can have a strike poll,” Ms. Williams said.

​Last Monday more than 200 nurses called in sick to healthcare facilities across the country because of various grievances including mileage allowances, appointments and confirmation letters, National Insurance contributions and union busting.

​This week the president said enough is enough.

​“How long should you wait to be confirmed, for seven years you started the job, you have not gotten an increment. You’ve taken my quality of life away. You’ve deprived me.
​Should the employer do that to the employee? No, that’s unacceptable,” Ms. Williams said.

​With the Minnis administration coming up on its first year in governance, Ms. Williams, when asked what she feels is the appropriate time to deal with the issues, added that now is the time to deal with the vexing issues that have been plaguing the nurses for years.

​“I think that this is an appropriate time.

​“When the minister came in, the minister got a portfolio of all the concerns that plague the institution. There should have been proper planning, making an adjustment and like we say again, we are not difficult to deal with.

​“We asked the minister to put time limits; give us three months you’re going to pay mileage, give us a next three months you’re going to do the confirmation. There is no evidence that the minister has put this portfolio forward.

​“And so, we are sitting here waiting for what? For a next year? We have a next group that is coming out that is going to be confirmed. What is it costing The Bahamas to be in debt? We ask the minister to deal with the issues.

​President of the Trade Union Congress, Obie Ferguson, who was present at the press conference, said that the BNU has his support.

​“One has to do what one has to do; this Bahamas is for all Bahamians. The nurses, the doctors, these are critical people in our country, and to be treated in the manner in which the nurses are being treated is totally unbecoming.

​“So, whenever the nurses call on the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Trade Union Congress to support in whatever form they call on us, I will speak clearly to Customs. I will speak clearly to Immigration. I will speak clearly to the Doctors. I will speak clearly to Air Traffic Controllers. I will speak to BEC.

​“I will speak to all of our Unions to say what happened with the nurses will indeed happen to you if we allow this type of behavior to continue. This country came as a result of the working people,” Mr. Ferguson said.

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