State to increase nurses’ pay


NURSES have shelved their stop-work plan after the Government agreed to increase their pay from next month as per an agreement signed last year.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said in a letter to the PNG Nurses Association executives last Friday the new pay rate as per the agreement would be effective from the first pay period next month.
The nurses had planned to go on strike from last week.
Following a meeting with union officials, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari and Kase met the Government’s budget management committee “to work out a satisfactory way forward” in relation to salary increase for nurses.
“We agreed that the award should be paid in accordance with the agreement signed in 2015,” Kase said.
“The budget management committee has committed that the new award rate increase as per the agreement will be paid directly into staff salaries on a fortnightly basis commencing on the first pay period in October 2016.
“We understand that this still leaves the matter of back payment from January to September 2016.
“The increase was not budgeted for in the 2016 budget. However, there is an agreed commitment to budget this in the 2017 budget.
“The back payment would be paid as a lump sum in 2017.”
Association acting president Steven Nawik said it was a positive result, especially in the situation the country was.
“Given the current financial situation, we must be thankful.
“We cannot ask for more because there is no other person we can go to get approval.”

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