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Jul 20, 2015

Go-slow at K.H.M.H. Called Off, All Parties Meet to Negotiate Salary Adjustment

The news from the K.H.M.H. tonight is that medical services are back on track. It follows a go slow that started on Friday and continued over the weekend when some medical services at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital were abruptly reduced.  All outpatient elective surgeries referred to the K.H.M.H. were also cancelled indefinitely.  Those measures by some six hundred employees at the national referral hospital took the government by surprise. The staff at the national referral hospital had been clamoring for a salary adjustment, but had not yet had a sit down with the government.   The demand for a raise in wages comes on the heels of recent adjustments afforded to teachers and other public officers, the most recent which came into effect at the beginning of the month.  At two o’clock this afternoon, a meeting involving government representatives, K.H.M.H. staff and members of the board of governors was convened.  The objective was to arrive at an amicable solution which would result in the lifting of the go-slow.  First to arrive for the meeting was Minister of Labor Godwin Hulse who reiterated that employees of K.H.M.H. should have requested a sit down to begin the process of negotiation before effecting the slowdown.

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour

“The staff had issued a press release and I think the management developed one and this afternoon’s sit down is to try and clarify the points to find out exactly where we are and where we go from here.  And this is a tremendously important facility, the public service needs to be protected, the staff and the management, especially the staff, has done an excellent job, nobody has any major complaints and so government’s position is that we have a sympathetic view but we have to sit down and be clear as to what we’re talking about and where we go.  You can’t really, frankly take action before we talk first and when talks break down we take action.  That is the standard protocol in any negotiation and discussions, that’s the position from the Ministry of Labor.  In terms of what is being offered or not I won’t weigh in on it, I’m not a medical person, Doctor Peter Allen who is the C.E.O. and, of course, the Minister of Health and the chairman of the board can better speak to those issues but from where the Ministry of Labor sits we are hoping that we can have a frank, serious and open discussion and then we can go from there.”

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