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BITU awaiting NHF decisions following pharmacist transfers

Published:Monday | May 12, 2014 | 5:22 PM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) says it’s awaiting further word from the National Health Fund (NHF) on outstanding employment issues in relation to government-paid pharmacists.




Last month, the union raised concerns that the pharmacists would be affected by the transfer of responsibility for public pharmacies from the Regional Health Authorities to the NHF.



The BITU's Organizing and Communications Officer, Collin Virgo, says while certain matters have since been settled, a number of issues remain outstanding.



He says among that matters settled is the removal of the requirement for pharmacists to undergo a six-month probation under the NHF.



According to Virgo, pharmacists will also be permanently employed at the end of the one-year contract and will not be placed at positions lower than those they currently occupy.



Virgo adds that the parties have agreed that pharmacists will be given adequate practicing insurance and will be allowed to work privately, on their own time, but must seek permission to do so.



However, he says public sector pharmacists are anxious to have other issues addressed in a timely manner.



These issues relate to vacation and sick leave entitlements, pension, salaries and the new organisational structure.



Virgo says a letter dated May 1 was sent to the NHF’s CEO, Everton Anderson, seeking clarity on these issues.



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