Nurses employed by the government are restive, as they are unhappy with the pace
of negotiations by the government negotiating team, as well as working conditions
at many of the health institutions.
A source close to the executive for the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association
said the association is asking for a fifteen percent increase for its members, as well
as improvements to many of the clinics and health care facilities.
The source said the nine percent increase that the government is offering to all
groups of public workers is not sufficient. The source did not indicate whether or
not the association is prepared to accept a compromise on the rate increase.
The association also met with Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph this week to
raise concerns over the state of many of the clinics in the country. According to the
source many clinics are in a state of disrepair and are not suited to accommodate
patients or nursing staff.
During the meeting, the minister gave the commitment to complete repairs to two
of the clinics that have been closed – All Saints and Urlings – within the next two
weeks and then to move on to other clinics immediately. He promised to
systematically repair the clinics so that nurses can feel comfortable.
There are also issues with the conditions at the Clare Vue Hospital and the Fiennes
Institute which the association also wants to be addressed as soon as possible.
However, despite these issues, the association has not issued a notice of industrial
action to the government nor to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre.