Joan Peters, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA), is disappointed that industrial action first has to be taken before any consideration is given to workers’ concerns.
On Monday, April 19, staff at the Mount St. John Medical Centre (MSJMC) downed tools over the non-payment of their risk allowance, which, in some instances, dates back over 10 years.
If issues have to reach this far, Peters says,it shows the authorities’lack of interest in taking concerns seriously.
This morning, Peters was anxiously waiting to learn whether the hospital’s management will be able to meet today’s deadline for payment.
The workers have threatened to recommence industrial action if their monies are not paid by today.
Peters says management has indicated that it does not have the funds requiredto settle the risk allowance, and it is waiting on the Government for assistance.
However, she continues to relay the staff’s frustration with this development to the hospital’s administrators.
The hospital commenced payment almost two years ago,but has stopped disbursements. According to Peters,fewer than half of the staff have been remunerated and she believes they have been more than lenient.
Up to press time, discussions on the way forward reportedly were still going on. REAL News will have updates in the DRIVE-TIME Edition at 5 p.m.