BY CHARLES KADAMANA
THE government has disclosed how much the members of Solomon Island Nursing Association members (SINA) get with a call for nurses to give back to the country instead of asking for more.
Secretary to Prime Dr Jimmy Rodgers in an effort to justify the government action in suspending SINA reveals how much SINA members received from different allowances including their basic salary.
He said apart from basic salary the nurses received Special Duty Allowance (SDA), Multi allowance, Dirty allowance, Risk allowance, Posting allowance and COVID-19 allowances.
Take for example, a level 5.5 nurse with basic salary $1,307.70 also received SDA ($511.23), Multi allowance ($414.23), Danger allowance ($390), Risk allowance ($390), Posting ($250 for Province) plus COVID-19 allowance ($3,213.24) is totalling up to $78,344.00 per annum.
For level 12 nurse with the basic salary $3,210 also received SDA ($1,076.79), Multi allowance ($802.50), Danger allowance ($390), Rick allowance ($390), Posting ($250 for province) and COVID allowance ($5,893) is totalling up to $152,161.00.
Based on these figures’ Dr Rodgers says the country deserved from the nurses to give back to the country instead of asking for more.
“They deserve what they get but all I am saying is for them to give back to the country instead of asking for more.
“Now that the nation knows what they get is not hidden, I am interested to get public reaction and they will answer to it.
“From my perspective they deserved what they get but all I’m asking them is to show back to our nation that is very poor that the laying of staff because of Covid-19 and cutting salary by 50 percent for essential services, we ask them to regain the trust of the country that has accorded them the trust to develop their career.
“Please if you understand what you are getting don’t ask for another, $250 fortnight, don’t ask for another $1000, where would that money come from,” he said.
He also reveals that only 73 nurses will receive Covid-19 allowances and the government will not be paying other allowances as demanded by SINA.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday suspended SINA after its members staged a peaceful protest at the National Referral Hospital Car park over the delay of their allowances.
However, Dr Rodgers in press conference yesterday says they had given enough time to dialogue their position on the allowances.
He explains that on October 4 the government in its meeting with SINA clearly stated that it would only be pay Covid-19 allowances to front liners and not to the rest of the nurses as demanded by SINA
He said SINA had demanded that every nurse in the country regardless of where they are situated must paid $250 per fortnight. In addition to that all nurses in emergency zone must receive $1000 per fortnight.
There are about 1,200 nurses throughout the country.
He said based on the oversight committee recommendation to cabinet the government could only pay for the 73 nurses working at the front line but it can’t afford to pay $250 to all nurses in the country and $1000 a fortnight to those in emergency zones.
Under the COVID-19 arrangements as stipulated in a public service circular everyone who worked at the frontline will get $300 per day but not every day-only at times when the person comes into contact with someone from outside at the borders.
He also explains that only 73 nurses that work at the frontline, including those at the quarantine centres and at the isolation unit at the NRH are paid Covid-19 allowances.