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Sick out involving almost 3,000 nurses could be over, normal turnout expected today

Published:Thursday | September 17, 2015 | 8:46 AM

Public nurses were expected to resume their normal duties at seven o'clock this morning after most of the 3,000 health workers staged a sick out over over the past two days. 

The nurses withdrew their services to protest the delays in the payment of millions owed to them by the government since a 2013 reclassification. 

They are returning to work following a meeting yesterday involving officials from the Finance and Public Service Ministry.  

A statement from the Labour Ministry said an early meeting will be convened with the Nurses Association of Jamaica and the ministers of finance and health to address the concerns of the nurses. 

President of the NAJ, Janet Farr, says the February deadline next year given by Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Horace Dalley, for the payment of the outstanding money is unacceptable. 

The nurses want the Finance Minister to bring the payment forward to this year. 

Meanwhile, the association is to hold an emergency meeting with nurses Friday. 

The health ministry had to activate its emergency protocols to cope with the absence of the nurses. 

Several health facilities have had to turn back patients while doctors and some nurses were forced to work long hours.