Nurses not happy with delay in awards

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 31, 2010

 THE Health Department has delayed the review of the nurses’ awards 2006 that was submitted by the PNG Nurses Association (PNGNA) in October last year. 

In a letter to the PNGNA dated Sept 6, 2010, Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said the review for PNGNA would commence as soon as the National Doctors Association (NDA) review was completed.

“Currently, the review submission is pending technical input by the Department of Health due to the NDA review.

“However, the cost of the review was presented to the senior executive management team by senior industrial relations officer Mulina Kwalimu during the meeting and the senior executive management has agreed to capture it in the 2011 budget,” Malau said.

The news of the delay had not gone down well with PNGNA executives.

President Sr Eimi Kaptigau expressed disappointment describing it as unacceptable. 

“The doctors are not working effectively.

“You go to any health centre, clinic or even at the hospital and see that nurses are doing the work,” she said.

“All the awards are to be signed by the end of the year, we are not happy. We stand on the grounds that the department has been lying to us,” she added.

Last October, during a meeting with provincial branch executives in Port Moresby, Kwalimu assured the union that the awards would be approved by the end of this year.

Kwalimu told the executives that he had met with the Department of Personnel Management earlier in that week and notified them that the nurses’ awards would be the next to be implemented following that of environmental health officers which was approved.

He also clarified that the payment of awards were focused on nurses doing clinical duties in health facilities while awards for nurses doing administrative work would be looked at later.

Review of the awards include an insurance component (K30 per fortnight), increase in shift and uniform allowances, among others.

Kaptigau said the union thoroughly assessed the review and was satisfied with it before submitting it to the department.

She told The National yesterday that they would be meeting with Malau next week for an  update.

They were also drawing up plans to have the signing of the memorandum of agreement to fast track the awards.