Thu | Sep 23, 2021

Union demands meeting after midwife suspended

Published:Friday | June 7, 2019 | 12:21 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Midwives Association (JMA) and the National Workers Union (NWU) are both awaiting a response from the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) in a case involving a primary healthcare midwife in St Mary who was suspended last month after allegedly being attacked and verbally abused by a woman at the Highgate Health Centre.

Sources say that following the May 10 incident, the midwife was called to a meeting on May 20, where she was informed of her suspension and later given a letter indicating that her salary would be halved while she was on suspension.

The JMA and the union were notified of the situation.

Primary healthcare midwives in St Mary staged a two-day sick-out on Monday and Tuesday in support of their suspended colleague even as both the JMA and NERHA denied knowledge of the sick-out.

But on Tuesday, JMA President Aseta Hamilton expressed alarm, alleging a lack of due process. The midwife was suspended before the meeting, Hamilton told The Gleaner.

“I don’t understand. I think they should have a meeting and hearing first before they suspend her,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve been speaking to them from Friday to have a meeting about the situation because she is at home not working and she has responsibilities,” she added.

Hamilton said she called the HR manager again on Tuesday morning and was told she would get back to her.

“But I am going to call her again because we need to have an urgent meeting. I’m going to call her and tell her I need a meeting like Friday coming. I can’t wait,” Hamilton said.

Meanwhile, negotiating officer at the NWU, Robert Marks, said he, too, was awaiting word from NERHA regarding a meeting.

“NERHA is to respond to us to set a date for a hearing. That is where it’s at,” Marks confirmed on Tuesday.

Efforts to get a response from NERHA’s Regional Director Fabia Lamm were unsuccessful as she was said to be at a meeting in Kingston.