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Pinder on PHA

The Public Hospitals Authority(PHA) may be hit with some form of industrial action from workers protesting the long shift hours they are assigned to work, according to Bahamas Public Services Union President John Pinder.

“This four on, four off shift is really killing them and it appears as though the PHA is not adhering to the industrial agreement or the Employment Act. They are still working people more than 40 hours acd not giving them the 24 consecutive hours rest nor are they getting the two days rest in a seven-day period and that is what the law says. You must give them two days within a seven day period and you must give them 24 consecutive hours rests after 40 hours of work,”Bahamas Public Services Union president John Pinder said yesterday.

“We are still having a problem with that and they are threatening to withdraw their labor,”he reported.

The Nassau Guardian made several attempts to speak with PHA Managing Director Herbert Brown yesterday, but was told he had already left office. Attempts to contact Brown by cell phone proved futile up to press time.

Except for the nurses, the BPSU represents other line-staff including auxiliaries, attendants, security officials and others.

Pinder explained that the staffers are used to working four days on and four days off.

“They changed them to five days or 40 hours per week, but the problem is in giving them that they are not getting two consecutive days off after the 40 hours nor are they getting two days within a seven day rotation and a lot of them are complaining this is not happening. I have addressed this matter over and over again, but I am not getting a conclusion on that.”

Additionally, Pinder claimed that the public service is forcing his membership to work overtime and are not paying them for the public holidays.

“They want to give them time back and that is a violation of the law. The law does not say you get time back for working over time. The law specifically says you get twice your hourly rate for working on a public holiday or on your day off,”Pinder stressed.

“They may find that during the public holidays a number of persons will not report to work because they are not prepared to pay these people overtime. So we may have some serious problems in the hospital if they are not prepared to pay these people over time,”he added.

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