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Franklyn says nurses will step up protest on Monday

by Barbados Today
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Caswell Franklyn

Outspoken trade unionist Caswell Franklyn has warned that the ongoing industrial action by nurses will be stepped up on Monday.

The Opposition senator said his union is open to returning to the table and is still prepared to negotiate, but he stressed “we are not prepared to go back”.

“This is not a political. To this day I have not mentioned a single word of this to [Opposition leader] Bishop [Joseph] Atherley. He does not know what I am doing in this respect because he is not part of Unity Workers’ Union. This is not a political thing,” Franklyn said.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Mia Mottley hosted a social partnership meeting with other union leaders who distanced themselves from the strike action and agreed with Mottley that Franklyn had not observed industrial relations protocol in his handling of the matter.

While not disclosing the exact numbers or nurses currently taking action, the Senator said that this number was expected to increase as an undisclosed number of additional nurses joined his union, a direct response he believed to the stance of Mottley and the other union heads.

He said: “Yesterday I got calls telling me, ‘We are not members of the union, we want to join because we want to join the strike from Monday’. So, what the government did has backfired. Nurses are angry … So, the government has shot themselves in the foot because more nurses are telling me they want to come out too. That is what I am hearing.”

Franklyn again defended his actions stressing that his head was cool and that at every juncture he has sought a resolution.

Some of the issues Franklyn wants addressed for the nurses are: better pay, health insurance, remuneration for degrees, advancement, continuous training and better working conditions. (KC)

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