Nurses at Andrews Memorial Hospital protesting, surgeries being affected
Nurses at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in St Andrew remain off the job this afternoon in protest over what they say is a cut in their salaries and benefits and the alleged refusal of the institution's management to address their concerns.
The protest has affected some services at the hospital including surgeries.
The nurses say the reductions started in January and since then they have been approaching the management to seek clarification on the new pay packages.
According to them, the management has not been forthcoming.
“They have been doing some calculations that we as nurses cannot understand. We are accustomed to 160 hours being subtracted from the total hours worked. Now, they are telling us that depending on the number of days in the month, different monies are subtracted each month,” nursing supervisor for the medical surgical unit Camille Parchment told The Gleaner.
“ So if it is a 28-day month, it is 160 hours because its 40 hours each week. If its 30 days they up it to 176 hours, and if its 31 days its [moved] up to 184 hours. So you have to work up to 184 hours before qualifying for overtime. I don't know how they work out those calculations. When you go to seek clarification, its met with attitude,” Parchment said.
Resna Budhoo-Noble, senior registered nurse midwife, claimed that the hospital's management has refused to meet with staff even though they are aware of their discontent.
She said the protest by nurses will continue until they have a meeting with the management to address the issues.
Amid the protest, a small contingent of staff remains on the job to care for patients and undertake minor duties.
Porters and housekeeping staff indicated that they are in solidarity with the nurses.
Attempts by The Gleaner to get a comment from the hospital's management were unsuccessful.