Kali: Govt has no funds for pay hike

National

THE Government does not have the capacity to fund pay increases for nurses, Department of Personnel Management Secretary John Kali says.
In response to the PNG Nurses Association’s demands, Kali said the Government was unable to implement the 2016-18 memorandum of agreement under increases in specific allowances, work value study and a home-ownership scheme.
He said he had not received any specific requests from the association on those matters.
“DPM so far has no records of specific requests from the association, either directly or through DoH (Health Department) on those matters,” Kali said.
“Actions are still required to be undertaken by all parties to commence the process with minimum delay.”
Kali said that the main concern was the implementation of the increases to selected allowances to promote and improve health service delivery at rural settings.
He said partly because the agreement was signed after the 2016 budget process, the Health Department, as an employing agency, was unable to factor the increases into the 2016 budget.
“The Government’s liability to the nurses is, of course, a priority. But ability to implement as noted in the agreement is subject to availability of funding.”
Kali clarified that, Clause 21.1 of the agreement provided for the Government as one party to the agreement would honour and facilitate it whenever funding was available.
“This clause does not provide for any specific date or time frame so that the union is in breach of the MoA by attempting to set time limits,” Kali said.
“The union’s demand for immediate implementation of the awarded increase cannot be met at this point in time but will be honoured as soon as funds are available.
“I urge all nurses throughout the country to continue to render your services in accordance with your oath of office.  I assure you that your concerns are being dealt with as a matter of priority for implementation as soon as funds are ready.”

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