#Nassau, July 30, 2018 – Bahamas – The Ministry of Health is pleased to update the public on the progress being made relative to its on-going discussions with The Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU), which represents Nurses within the PHA, as well as, those employed directly within the Public Service.
With regard to the PHA, all matters regarding outstanding payments to members of BNU by the Authority have been addressed. The only matter outstanding is payment to staff in Grand Bahama, resulting from the fire at the Rand. These payments will be made in August 2018. The Authority was awaiting a response from the Union regarding a proposal to eliminate the nursing shortage at the various hospitals in New Providence (P.M.H. and S.R.C.) and Grand Bahama Health Services. To eliminate the nursing shortage within these hospitals, PHA will implement a five-on/two-off shift system for night duty nurses, which will effectively re-align work schedules to 8 hours and improve service delivery to the Bahamian public. Respectfully, the Union was given the requisite one month’s notice prior to the implementation of this shift system.
Nurses employed directly within Public Service had some fourteen (14) issues that required the Government’s attention. The majority of which have been amicably resolved, namely:
- Mileage Allowance;
- 2018 Confirmation Exercise (56 of 72 completed) with sixteen (16) at the Ministry of Public Service being processed (the change salaries and payment of arrears will occur during the August 2018 pay period);
- Vehicles being purchased or leased for Family Island and Special Services Nurses;
- Cleaning of Abaco and Exuma Clinics; and
- Casual Leave only for Nurses at the level of NO II and higher.
Hazard Allowance for Nurses assigned to Her Majesty’s Correctional Centre is not necessary as they have medical insurance.
The issues still outstanding require due diligence and verification before payments can be made. These include: payment, at special project rate, of Nurses who worked during and after the passage of Hurricane Irma; the 2018/2019 payment of accelerated increment and promotion exercise for Nurses who have obtained additional qualifications during the past two (2) years; and review of all allowances and claims of overtime for payment of arrears.
Always being mindful of the need to ensure the health and safety of staff, the Ministry is actively crafting the protocols for the establishment of a Health & Safety Committee. Additionally, the Ministry is conducting a review of its capacity to address the security of those who must work either on-call or during unsocial hours, especially in the Family Islands.
Additionally, the Ministry will make payment for the increase in the Uniform Allowance of $50 per month, effective 1st July 2018, during August 2018 pay period.
The Government is appreciative of its many dedicated Nurses who, on a daily basis, go beyond the call of duty. The Government is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all staff who work to provide the optimal level of health and wellbeing of all persons in The Bahamas
Release: Ministry of Health