BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE Executive Board of the Solomon Islands Nurses Association (SINA) has issued a 28-day strike notice to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services yesterday.
According to the Executive, they feel that their demands and negotiations to the Ministry and national government under the nurses scheme of service has not been dealt with rightly as agreed during various consultation meetings since 2016.
SINA’s National General Secretary Mr Steven Maitani said they have been very kind indeed to bring their concerns to the discussion table since 2016 but to date, nothing tangible has been done by the Ministry on behalf of the government.
“In 2016 we issued a strike notice and willingly called it off in light of their promise that their Office will deal with our demands in which we only found our later that all were partially done,” said Maitani.
“On this note, we issue a strike notice of 28 days as we believe there are no more avenues for negotiations.”
As an agent of the government, SINA handing over their notice to the Permanent Secretary of MHMS said the Ministry has lied to them and failed to address their claims as approved under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on October 4, 2007 and the Cabinet conclusion on October 11, 2007.
There was an approval for the implementation of the Nurses Scheme of services and conditions by SIG agents, MHMS and the Public Service on behalf of the government.
Signatories were done then by the Permanent Secretary (PS) of MHMS Dr George Manimu and the PS of Public Service Mr Ishmael Avui to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Mr William Same and Moffat Marita the President and General Secretary of SINA.
The 2007 approval of the nurses scheme of service are as follows: 1, The claims for transport, posting and housing allowances be dealt with by the public service as part of the harmonization program of all scheme of services; 2, The five claims remaining be forwarded to Cabinet with full justification given by SINA on the additional conditions and their respective rates. This is to include a mechanism to monitor performance of SINA members; 3, A Cabinet paper be produced requesting the Cabinet to deliberate on the claims no later than Thursday October 11, 2007 and payments to proceed by November 2007; 4, The budget allocation for the MHMS vacancies be used to meet all the claims hence necessities the freezing of recruitment in MHMS for the next three months; 5, The government and SINA will not enter into negotiation of any increases in salary or conditions unless it is based on improved performance and productivity after the next three years; 6, SINA to withdraw the strike notice that lapsed 04/10/2007 and to inform its members accordingly.
Unfortunately to date, the MOA has never been honoured, pursued and implemented by the MHMS and the PSD parties according to SINA.
“We will continue to stand on our scheme of services until proper and tangible measures are executed to the satisfaction of all members,” said SINA.
The strategies with regards to the strike action will be issued 12 hours before the expiry of the notice.
Attempts to reach MHMS were not possible.