Nurses protest over awards

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NURSES in Eastern Highlands have stopped work and are staging a sit-in protest, demanding that their awards are implemented, an official says.
Papua New Guinea Nurses Association (PNGNA) Goroka branch representative Nocksy Gunure told The National that the protest that started yesterday would continue today and they expected Health Minister Jelta Wong and Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu to address them by tomorrow.
He said a petition was given to Wong and Numu and their concerns were:

  • THE nurses award 2016-2018 not being implemented;
  • COVID-19 allowances; and
  • IMPLEMENTATION of the new nurses award 2021-2023.

Attempts to confirm whether Wong or Health secretary Dr Osborne Liko was aware of the petition yesterday were unsuccessful.
Gunure said the awards included the establishment of the director of nursing services position in the provincial health authority (PHA) system and various allowances such as for shift, special domestic market allowance, mental health and risk.
“It was said that the awards would be implemented starting from the fifth fortnight but now it was going towards the tenth fortnight and nothing was done,” he said.
“Between 60 and 70 nurses have been infected with the Covid-19 in the province and have recovered while two are currently in critical condition and three nurses have already died from the Covid-19.
“These are issues that have pressured nurses to demand for their allowances.
“We have approached the PHA but nothing was done so we call upon the Health Department and Government,” Gunure said.