ABNA awaits government’s proposal for salary increase

After two years, the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association (ABNA) is anticipating receiving the counter-proposal to their offer for a 15 percent salary increase over a three-year period.

Following a meeting with the Minister of Labour, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, on Monday, President of ABNA, Soria Dupie-Winston said that she is expecting word of the government’s offer by next week.

“From his statement they are in negotiations with the government’s negotiation team. They should be meeting this week, Thursday I was told, where they will compile and complete their report and submit the report to the Establishment Division,” she said.

The association is also expecting a resolution to the registration of nurses, with Dupie-Winston telling OBSERVER media, “The nursing council has submitted a proposal and that has been on the back burner as well for a while, as it relates to nursing registration in Antigua and Barbuda.”

Monday’s meeting, which has been described as “preventative”, also focused on issues of remuneration, reclassification of nursing personnel, scholarships, pension plan for nurses, who work at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC), and the inclusion of the nurse’s association and other relevant nursing personnel in decision making.

The president added that “The nurses are working without a contract since 2008 and it was highlighted to the Minister of Labour that we’re working without a valid working contract”.

ABNA is also expected to hold a separate discussion with Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph, concerning the disrepair of health clinics across the island.