Union leaders support doctors

Union leaders yesterday said they fully support the Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) and its strike action against the government over holiday pay.

Leaders from the Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU), the Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA), the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU), the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) and the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) stood in solidarity with the BDU.

“We strongly support the position of the BDU,” CPSA President Dr. Locksley Munroe said.

“The CPSA believes the BDU should be made comfortable during their process of negotiation.”

He added, “To us, it is very distasteful and unacceptable the bullying tactics and all those intimidating ideas and items that are being placed in social media.

“…In many instances, the way that physicians are treated in this country is not in keeping with what is the global norm. Physicians in this country have been marginalized for years. We have never gotten overtime.”

He added, “The doctors have executed their duties. They continued to exercise their duties. Maybe it is not obvious to the public, but the fact of the matter is patient care in that hospital is covered by juniors and by seniors, even though [there is] industrial action.”

The leaders spoke at a press conference organized by the BDU.

BNU President Amancha Williams encouraged the doctors to remain persistent.

“I just want to say to encourage you, do not give up, “ she said.

She added, “Don’t worry about [Minister of Health Dr.] Duane Sands. His time coming.”

Last Wednesday, roughly 420 doctors on New Providence and Grand Bahama withdrew their services.

The withdrawal of services came more than eight months after the doctors voted to strike. The key issue is holiday pay, with the union claiming that the doctors are not being paid for working on holidays, and are collectively owed about $10 million for worked holidays from 2010.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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