Govt addresses nurses’ issues

National

By GYNNIE KERO
CHIEF Secretary Isaac Lupari and Health Secretary Pascoe Kase held talks yesterday with officials of the PNG Nurses Association on how to implement an agreement signed last year, which has not been honoured.
The nurses are threatening to take industrial action from today if the Government fails to honour the agreement. Lupari and Kase met with PNG Nurses Association acting national president Steve Navik and other executives to discuss how to address the implementation of the nurses awards agreed between the State and PNGNA last year.
Lupari thanked Navik and his officials for their maturity and understanding of the matter.
“We have to continue to have such dialogue on a regular basis so that issues are discussed in an open and transparent manner,” Lupari said.
“Together we can find ways to address these issues because by doing so, we will be able to appreciate them, and why sometimes, industrial awards cannot be met in an expeditious manner.”
The agreement on the awards for nurses was signed in November last year. It was included in the 2016 national budget.
“I have made the PNGNA executives aware of the above and that if the Government is to honour it, savings must be identified in the budget.
“This is because there is no appropriation in the 2016 Budget,” Lupari said. He said the Government had just re-adjusted the 2016 Budget due to a decline in revenue.
Lupari said it would be extremely difficult to find savings at this stage.
However, they all agreed that the Government should identify savings in the 2016 Budget and make some payments in this year.

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