Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
RUNAWAY BAY, St Ann:
THE GENERAL membership of the Nurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ) has passed a resolution seeking government's assistance in providing housing solutions for nurses.
The resolution was passed as the NAJ held its 67th annual general meeting and 43rd island conference at Jewel Runaway Bay Resort in St Ann over the weekend.
According to returning president, Anthonette Patterson-Bartley, nurses believe Government has a responsibility to assist the nurses, and the resolution will be sent to the ministries of finance and health.
"It is the view of general membership that government has the responsibility to assist the nurses in securing housing solutions," Patterson-Bartley told The Gleaner, prior to her being installed for another term as president last Saturday evening.
"The general membership asserted that housing is a basic commodity for all nurses. As a result of that, a resolution was passed by the general membership to be sent to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health seeking assistance in providing housing solutions for nurses."
Nurses have been clamouring for housing assistance for more than a decade.
The nurses are also peeved with the long wait to have monies deducted from salaries paid over to financial institutions and will have the association's attorney seek to rectify the matter.
"For more than six months, there have been reports from general membership that when deductions are made from salaries, these deductions are paid over at a later date. As a result of that, it incurs a lot of interest," Patterson-Bartley explained.
"The general membership felt that this is unfair, so the general membership has asked that the NAJ utilises its services of our attorney to communicate with the Ministry of Health and the regional health authority to ensure that deductions that are taken from nurses' salaries are paid over on time to financial institutions."
The president said where interests are incurred as a result of late payments on the part of the regional health authority, the NAJ will seek to have the authority absorb these costs.
The newly elected executive to serve for the 2013/2014 year includes the following:
President Anthonette Patterson-Bartley; 1st vice-president Sharon Brown-Brotherton; 2nd vice-president; Marilyn Morrison-Small; and 3rd vice-president Julian Mason-Cleary.