The Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) says political will and action are needed for payments for temporary nursing staff to be brought up to date.
In a statement issued on Thursday, it said the issue had been referred to Prime Minister Mia Mottley more than a month ago, and president Joannah Waterman told Barbados TODAY it was time to fix what she described as an untenable and uncaring issue.
“Our nurses have the responsibility for maintaining the health of the nation in delivering quality care to patients and clients, and should be treated with the utmost respect and due care,” she said.
Waterman said the association has been pressing for an end to the sporadic payment to temporary staff since last year, and September 2 media reports had indicated that the Ministry of Health and Wellness had referred the matter to Prime Minister Mottley.
The BNA president said the association would continue to monitor “this grave matter” until there was evidence of a resolution.
The association noted that, in 1973, Barbados agreed to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 100 which states: “Remuneration includes the ordinary, basic or minimum wage or salary and any additional emoluments whatsoever payable directly or indirectly, whether in cash or in kind, by the employer to the worker and arising out of the worker’s employment.”
The BNA has also taken issue with the official figures given on Barbados’ nursing shortage.
It said migration of nurses remained high and the manpower shortage stood at 590, based on a strategic plan for nursing personnel for a five-year period up to 2018.