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Jul 17, 2015

K.H.M.H. Go-Slow In Effect Indefinitely, Hospital Staff Demands Wage Increase

Services at the national referral hospital were significantly reduced today, and will continue so for an indefinite period, affecting patients from the districts who require medical attention at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. As many as six hundred employees at the K.H. M.H. are staging a go-slow, having canceled all outpatient elective services and surgeries since this morning. It is not known yet how many patients have been affected but tonight there is no word as to when the go slow will end. The significant reduction in work follows a general staff meeting on Thursday during which a number of issues pertaining to salary increases, pensions and benefits were discussed.  Personnel are hard done by government’s refusal to grant them a wage increase similar to what teachers and other public officers are presently enjoying.  Altogether the increase is a combined fourteen percent of their wages.  But the response from the government is that employees are ineligible for salary adjustments since government views the hospital authority as a statutory body and personnel do not belong to a union.  The move to go-slow comes ahead of any negotiation with government.  This morning, we spoke with Dr. Peter Allen, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health who was unaware by the workers’ protest.

 

Peter Allen

Dr. Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“I’m a little surprised that any action is considered quite so soon.  As far as I am aware the board, as you know, Karl Heusner is a statutory authority with its own management and its own board of directors.  As far as I am aware there’s been no formal communication or correspondence yet with the board of directors or with the management but I shall certainly check that this morning.  Normally of course that would be the first thing that’s done before any action is taken.  But it’s true we had been hearing rumors for sometime on social media and other causes and the cabinet had been kind enough to listen to representatives of the board and the management of Karl Heusner at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.”

 

Reporter

“And so now we are told that the response from the cabinet is that they will not get the, K.H.M.H.’s six hundred employees will not get the six percent they are asking for.  Not at this time.”

 

Peter Allen

“Well I was at the cabinet meeting; certainly cabinet expressed their appreciation and their admiration for what the staff does at K.H.M.H. every day.  I think we’re all very proud of the accomplishments of K.H.M.H.  What I understood from the cabinet meeting essentially was that the way the process worked for public officers was that a negotiating team sat down with the representatives of the public officers and looked at different efficiencies that could be made within the system and the possibilities in which revenues could be increased and that for those revenues that were increased and for efficiencies that were made then a team of public officers and members of the government negotiating team would evaluate what was the increase and what could be distributed as salary raises amongst public officers.  My understanding was that cabinet essentially said let us follow the same process for Karl Heusner.”

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1 Response for “K.H.M.H. Go-Slow In Effect Indefinitely, Hospital Staff Demands Wage Increase”

  1. Voice of Reason says:

    So we have money to take 22 bus loads of people to Corozal Bay to eat pibil and tacos but we can’t acknowledge our hard working civil servants working in our hospitals? SMH.

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