Sunday, April 14, 2024

Strike action ‘on QEH doorstep’

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IT is almost certain that dozens of nurses, orderlies, office staff and staff of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) will bear protest placards this week in dispute with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) acting deputy general secretary Roslyn Smith, said enough was enough and strike action was virtually on the doorstep of the hospital.The shop stewards of both the QEH and the SSA are meeting this afternoon to discuss the proposed action.“It is not too late. If they don’t want to feel the weight of the union, the board can meet with us. Our door is still open, but it can’t be open for ever. They can still meet with us,” she said.Smith said long-serving temporary staff had been denied work and permanent employment.“New persons are brought on staff and placed in vacant positions while others are rostered every two weeks and the long-serving staff are not offered employment under the guise that the status would remain until the matter is settled with the union.“Industrial action could be very near. The union is not backing down. It’s the last resort we were trying to avoid but strike action now seems certain,” she said.Minister of Health Donville Inniss said yesterday he would not be drawn into any confrontation with the NUPW.Inniss added it would be unfortunate if industrial action were taken.Smith told the DAILY NATION the union was disappointed that chairman of the QEH board, Guy Hewitt, had not met with them.“What is happening at the hospital is symptomatic of what is transpiring in the Public Service and it has got to stop. The union is about a fair break for all and not having loyal workers disadvantaged.“The board has been disrespectful in refusing to meet with the workers’ representatives,” Smith said.

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