The Mia Mottley Administration has still not paid some of its nurses who have been acting in various positions within the health service.
This is the latest word from Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic.
Nurses, particularly those at the state-owned Psychiatric Hospital have been complaining that they have had to work for months without pay.
But Minister Bostic, while noting that some nurses have received their monies, said Government remained indebted to others.
“The problem with the nurses . . . everything has been done certainly from my end; and I have had several meetings, including meetings with the Ministry of the Civil Service, Personnel Administration; I know that some people have received their monies,” he told Barbados TODAY.
However, he pointed out that the situation was a difficult one to resolve at once.
“The problem really is a little more complex than it seemed up front because we are looking at people in acting appointments in particular,” Bostic explained.
He said there is a domino effect particularly regarding persons at the “very” top.
“There are a whole set of things that have to happen in order for persons who are acting to receive their monies. There are some things that we had to do differently within the Ministry of Health in all of its manifestations – within all the departments; the HR (human relations) side of it; and also engaging and dealing with Personnel Administration,” the Minister added.
The matter of payment is currently receiving the attention of the two unions representing nurses – the Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).
General Secretary of the NUPW Roslyn Smith said the union was pressing for a speedy end to the “exploitation” of Psychiatric Hospital nurses who have not been paid for up to six months.
Smith said she sent the names of the nurses to the Personnel Administration Division and these were then put in the Government’s electronic payroll system.
“But I understand that it has something to do with the appraisal of the workers in order that the information can be sent on for them to be paid,” she added.
The union leader said she will be pushing for the nurses to be paid especially considering that other public sector employees have been given their salaries complete with the five per cent increase while the psychiatric nurses have not even received their normal monthly pay.
President of the BNA) Joannah Waterman, who said she and her executive have met with Minister Bostic to discuss “sporadic” pay, appointments and other concerns of the profession told Barbados TODAY that based on assurances from Bostic she hopes the situation at the Psychiatric Hospital would soon be a thing of the past.
“He has actually assured us that he has put a mechanism in place to correct the problem. They are working feverishly right now to correct it . . . . They have actually been able to correct some of it, but there are a number of outstanding ones. That is what we have been told by the Minister and we are very happy with that,” the BNA leader said.