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posted 11 Jul 2015, 06:50 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 11 Jul 2015, 06:54 ]
On 2015-07-10, the National Health Workers Union (NHWU) issued the following statement


Monthly paid employees of the Regional Health Authorities have been operating under growing pressure, not having enjoyed a wage increase since 2010. These workers are not represented by a recognised majority union and, therefore, do not have a collective agreement with their employers.

 Over the years the practice has been that the Regional Health Authorities would apply whatever percentage increase has been negotiated between the Chief Personnel Officer and the union representing public servants. RHA employees are not public servants and are not covered by the term and conditions enjoyed by public servants. While the RHAs have applied the wage increases, they are not legally obligated to do so.

 There have been many rumours that the RHAs are reluctant to apply the 14% increase recently negotiated on behalf of public servants and this naturally has caused great unease among RHA employees. More than four months have gone by yet the RHAs have not said if or when the salary increase will be paid.

The National Health Workers Union (NHWU) has learned that the North Central Regional Health Authority and the Eastern Regional Health Authority have issued memoranda to their respective staffs claiming to have begun preparatory work to facilitate the implementation of the increase.

We, therefore, fully expect those RHAs to institute the increase expeditiously and further call upon the South West Regional Health Authority, the Tobago Health Authority and the North West Regional Health Authority to announce that they are following suit. We, further, expect all the RHAs to announce the dates of payment of the increase.

 The NHWU will tolerate no delaying tactics on the part of the RHAs and will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that employees of the RHAs are treated in a just and fair manner.

The National Health Workers Union cautions RHA employees not to be suckered into becoming pawns in a cynical political game which is scheduled to take place on Monday 13th July under the pretext of calling upon the Minister of Health to sign some bogus agreement to pay the salary increase.

Let us be clear: no collective agreement has been negotiated on behalf of the monthly paid employees of any of the RHAs. The Minister of Health, therefore, cannot sign a non-existent agreement.

Even if, the monthly paid workers of the RHAs were the beneficiaries of a collective agreement negotiated on their behalf by a recognised majority union, the Minister of Health would not be authorised to sign that collective agreement. He has no standing in the matter. The representatives of the individual RHAs would be the correct persons to sign.

The NHWU, again, warns health workers to be wary of the game scheduled to be played out on Monday July 13th which is designed to fool them and members of the public into believing that their wage increase is dependent on a script prepared by one politician seeking to return to office and another seeking to join the ranks of political hustlers whose only concern is to eat a food at the expense of public funds. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.


Sylvan Wilson, Executive Officer National Workers Union 758 8933