The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) yesterday conciliated an agreement between registered public nurses and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, which should guarantee a full resumption of the nursing service, starting last night.
The agreement is for a restoration of normality, commencing with the 10 o'clock shift last night.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is to indicate in writing to the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), on Monday, a specific date to continue negotiating a new 2017 - 2019 wage agreement, based on claims submitted by the NAJ.
The MLSS had invited the parties to conciliatory talks at its North Street offices in Kingston yesterday in response to a sick-out by some registered nurses, represented by the NAJ, in protest against delayed negotiations for the new wage contract.
The registered nurses are part of the unionised public sector workers group seeking an increase in salaries as part of a new agreement with the Government to replace the 2015/17 package, which expired on March 31.
The sick-out did not seriously reduce services at most public hospitals, as there were enough nurses and other health institutions staff to keep it going. But, the health ministry said that the hospitals which were most seriously affected were only able to provide emergency services, and were unable to conduct elective surgeries due to the reduced nursing staff.
Source: Jamaica Observer
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