By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
CONSULTANT Physician Staff Association President Dr Locklsey Munroe says without an industrial agreement, some senior doctors in the public healthcare system make less money than their junior counterparts.
HIs comment to The Tribune came days after most members of the CPSA voted in favour of a strike because of their failure to secure an industrial agreement with the Public Hospitals Authority despite years of negotiation.
The CPSA is seeking greater financial benefits for its members, but the PHA insists there is not enough money to give it to them.
The PHA is expected to present a counter-offer to the CPSA on October 15, following which the two sides will meet on October 18. As the CPSA has escalated its fight with the PHA, details about what it wants have not been disclosed.
“On the 18th when that meeting is finished some real decisions will have to be made,” Dr Munroe said. “We are planning a general meeting on the 22nd to present to the general body the position from the meeting on the 18th.”
Although the CPSA does not have an industrial agreement, junior doctors with the Bahamas Doctors Union do, having entered such an agreement with the PHA in 2017.
Among other things, the agreement establishes a schedule by which junior doctors receive increments every year depending on the position they hold.
“Most of those senior house officers on an annual basis make more money than I do,” Dr Munroe said. “That’s contrary to what used to be the practice. If that was the Ministry of Health, whatever junior physicians got, a difference would’ve been maintained between juniors and seniors. But the PHA changed that based on the fact that the juniors have a union-based agreement. Since we were not in the bargaining unit, we are not entitled to the results of that negotiation.
“We’re not saying junior doctors got this, so we want that; this process has nothing to do with that but is based on real world cost of living and demands.”
CPSA leaders met with officials from the Department of Labour yesterday for a “conciliatory meeting.”
“They didn’t have a plan of action,” Dr Munroe said. “They simply collected information from the CPSA and the PHA and the Office of the Attorney General had representatives there.”