Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Scores of Linden nurses on Wednesday braved the hot broiling sun to have their voices heard on issues they say must be addressed swiftly.
While they noted many concerns, the matter of risk allowance not being paid, particularly during this COVID -19 pandemic took the forefront. Those that participated in the protest are employed at the Linden Hospital Complex and at health centres across Linden.
The nurses marched from the ‘Five Corner in Mackenzie to the Linden Hospital Complex, chanting and holding placards. They made it clear that as essential workers, they must be beneficiaries of ‘ an essential salary’, which comprises of benefits such as risk allowance. “Essential workers, Essential Pay”, “Nurses Lives Matter”, “Nurses need a better union” and “No money ,No work”, were some of the chants heard. They held placards with slogans, “Essential Workers need adequate compensation”, and “Decked in white like angels, with burying ground salary”.
They were addressed by the recently appointed Regional Health Officer Gregory Harris, outgoing Regional Chairman Renis Morian and Guyana Public Service Representative Maurice Butters.
A meeting was subsequently held with LHC’s Management, including CEO (ag), Michelle Bollers and Dr. Harris. A representative of the nurses was also present. She related that in addition to risk allowance, nurses are also calling for salaries to be paid on time, since there have been regular delays.
They are also calling for a better transportation system to be implemented as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), since they claim there was a shortage at the hospital.
RHO Harris related that the issues that can be dealt with at the management level will be dealt with expeditiously, while others will be forwarded immediately to the relevant authorities. “All of the issues will be addressed in the shortest possible time.
Some of the issues raised can and will be dealt with at the management level and those that are beyond our scope will be forwarded to the policy making level at the Ministry of Health,” Harris commented.
In addition, the nurses made calls for their own union, since they believe they are not adequately represented by the Guyana Public Service Union.
In the budget 2020, the Government of Guyana announced that $150 M has been allocated to essential workers. Many expressed disappointment in this allocation, particularly since sugar workers will be receiving $3 Billion Dollars.