By JEFFREY ELAPA
MORE than 70 nurses and casual employees of the Modilon General Hospital in Madang province staged a sit-in protest yesterday and demanded the management address their outstanding allowances.
The nurses claimed that the management had delayed and failed to honour their commitment in paying outstanding allowances according to the new salary reclassification, while the discrepancies in their allowances and leave entitlements were also not paid.
During the protest, the nurses also demanded the management to tell them when they would be paid as their demands were genuine and according to the budget, they were expecting their allowances before Christmas.
Branch president of PNG Nurses Association Elizabeth Wukawa said the nurses would not go back to work until the management addressed the outstanding issues.
She claimed there were many problems as the hospital’s management was in an acting capacity.
The NEC failed to appoint a permanent management after its current term expired early this year.
“We have a very slack management. We are caring for the sick and dying and they should address our needs, not treat us like animals,” Ms Wukawa said.
The nurses claimed that a couple of administration staff were paid between K23,000 and K66,000 two weeks ago while nurses, who lodged their claims for the last four months, were not paid anything.
Meanwhile, 10 casual nurses, who have worked for more than five years but less than 10 years, were terminated two weeks ago while another 17 general casual employees, who have been working with the hospital for more than 34 years, were also terminated by the management.
The hospital’s director of finance and administration, Anton Kalisa, told the nurses that he was going to work with the personnel division and have them paid but the nurses refused to go back to work until a permanent variation advice was issued.
Mr Kalisa also assured the general casual employees that they would be paid shortly while the nurses’ issues would be look into.