Modilon nurses ordered by court to resume duties

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NATIONAL Court judge David Cannings yesterday ordered striking nurses at Madang’s Modilon General Hospital to return to work or be jailed.
He told the striking leaders, who appeared before him, to reach some agreement with the hospital management on outstanding issues relating to working conditions and pay before the two parties appeared before him on Sept 24.
“A court order is a court order. Follow it or end up in jail like your former colleagues.
“I would like the parties concerned meet and reach some sort of agreement to end this,” Cannings ruled.
Earlier, the hospital had sought and was granted two orders. The first was to end the week-long strike and, the second, not to damage hospital property or harm and injure anyone on the hospital grounds.
When the hospital lawyer went to serve the orders on strike leader Sr Diane Liriope at about 8pm on Monday, hospital staff objected and caused a commotion.
According to nurses, Liriope was under medication and an inpatient at the hospital, and it was inhumane to serve a legal document on a patient at non-visiting hours.
Striking staff gathered at the haus win and vented their anger at the hospital chief executive officer Sir Cecilia Gawi and the acting human resources chief and deputy director who were forced to lock themselves in their offices.
They were saved by a team of policemen who arrived in four vehicles to release them.
On Sunday night, Gawi had written and served a memo to staff, which said: “As your newly appointed CEO, I would urge that you all return to work or face the consequences of your actions.”