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Doctors press on with strike ballot

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE “amicable” talks with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, who agreed to address their concerns, the Consultant Physicians Staff Association will conduct a strike vote today.

The prime minister confirmed to The Tribune yesterday that a meeting was held yesterday morning where long-standing concerns of senior doctors were discussed.

Dr Minnis said the meeting came to a close with the understanding that issues would be prioritised and timelines were set.

However, he would not say if there was some form of agreement when it came to money related issues.

Meanwhile, Department of Labour director John Pinder confirmed the strike vote request was submitted on September 14.

He agreed that discussions involving labour officials went well, adding that many times, unions obtain strike certificates as a bargaining chip in the event discussions go downhill.

Dr Locksley Munroe, head of the association, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

The prime minister said: “I met with the doctors 7.30 Wednesday and listened to the concerns and we agreed that there would be more communication and involvement with the senior doctors in the progression of healthcare moving forward and there is also to be more communication with themselves and the Public Hospitals Authority.

“They have some concerns, we agreed to address the concerns and they understood that not all could be addressed but we would address those we consider as priority. We set timelines moving forward.”

Dr Minnis said he also committed to meeting with the senior doctors bi-annually to ensure timelines are met and everyone is on the same page.

“The doctors produce excellent service now, but there is always room for improvement. Our doctors are well trained and top of the class wherever they go.

“We pointed out that everything cannot be done at once but we would look at priority and work with timelines moving forward,” he added.

Late last month, Dr Munroe said it was possible a strike poll would be taken in early October.

At the time, Dr Munroe said among the steps doctors could take to protest their concerns include withdrawing their services or demonstrating, which he said could “happen in a kind of ad-hoc matter”.

“You can go off on long lunch breaks or something to that effect; you can take a strike poll and then have the legal authority to go on a strike or withdraw services,” he said last month.

“There won’t be any illegal things, I can tell you that flat-out.”

The CPSA has been trying to secure an industrial agreement from the PHA for several years. It hopes the agreement would allow senior doctors to get an increase in their benefits.

The PHA has said it does not have the funding to pay doctors more money.

However, Dr Munroe maintained PHA has ignored doctors’ advice about how it could raise critical revenue.

Comments

TheMadHatter 5 years, 4 months ago

"John Pinder confirmed the strike vote request was submitted on September 14."

As i've pointed out before, under the amended labour laws under Ingraham, Bahamians need permission from the Government to strike. That's why they celebrate Indepence every July 10th.

All the other days of the year they stay on the plantation picking cotton pleading with the massa to please don't hire no more Philipinos.

Philipinos can't strike cause they under threat of "lost" work permit.

Bahamians live like slaves every day - except with a big stupid grin on their face. Thank God for life.

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sealice 5 years, 4 months ago

This is good all the Doctors go on Strike - all the Nurses go on strike - the service at PMH remains the same - we get some foreign doctors and nurses in here finally that want to work and not britch and complain and Bahamian Life Expectancy goes up!!

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like they talk to Loretta Butler and Edison Key

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