<<< The contract settling the issues was signed with former Minister of Labour Vincent Peet back on Thursday 8th December 2005. At left is Acting Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority Hannah Gray, and at right is Bahamas Nurses Union President Cleola Hamilton. File photo by Eric Rose.
Nassau, Bahamas – Members of the Bahamas Nurses Union must now decide whether they will heed a court order handed down by Sir Burton Hall or face contempt of court charges and be thrown in jail!
The landmark ruling on Monday was handed down by the Supreme Court after being argued by Attorney General Micheal Barnett. Nurses must now huddle and decide their next move. On last week, members of the Nurses Union began a sick out campaign, a move which affected all public healthcare centers around the country. The protest was a move to force the government’s hand to honour their industrial agreement.
Bahamas Press notes here once again, however, that Perry Christie leader of the PLP and son of a former nurse, has yet to speak to the turbulent issues now presented by the nurses! Now that’s a WUTLESS LEADER FOR YA ECH? Hmmmmm!
Below is a statement by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham (one week since the dispute began) on industrial action by the Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU).
For the sequence of events leading up to the BNU industrial action, please refer to the attached (click to see base of article pha-affidavit_of_brown / docpha) Supreme Court affidavit of Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority Herbert Brown.
Also Monday’s Supreme Court order regarding the industrial action is also attached.
STATEMENT BY: RT. HON. HUBERT INGRAHAM/ PRIME MINISTER
15 June 2009/ On Industrial Action by Nurses Union
Prime Minister: The public is aware that for the last week members of the Bahamas Nurses Union have been engaged in industrial action resulting in their failure to attend at their work places at the Health and Medical facilities of the Government, including the Princess Margaret Hospital.
The principal reason for this action was said to be the Government’s inability to make financial provisions for medical insurance for the nurses at this time.
My Government had agreed to the provision of this benefit for the nurses but decided to delay its implementation because of unexpected pressures on the national budget due to the global economic downturn and subsequent drastic fall-off in revenue.
The Government, acting through the Public Hospitals Authority and the Minister of Health, sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to put an end to the industrial action being undertaken by some members of the Nurses Union with the apparent encouragement of union officers.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled in the matter and ordered that the Union and its members be restrained from calling, organizing or procuring members to strike, or to refuse to work, or to refuse to work when scheduled to do so, or leave their employment or otherwise participate in any form of industrial action.
My Government now fully expects that all concerned will abide by the ruling of the court. Whatever our grievances or circumstances, we are all as citizens bound to abide by the rule of law which has ensured the stability of The Bahamas and enabled the orderly delivery of essential services to the public.
My Government has always been committed to the welfare of all those who serve the Bahamian people in the public service, including and especially our nurses. We will continue, as resources allow, to work towards improving conditions and benefits for Bahamian nurses.
We are, and have always been, open to continued dialogue on these matters with mutual respect for each other. But the Government cannot and will not at any time — and especially during these trying times – abdicate its responsibility to protect the overall interests of the nation within the framework of good order and the rule of law.