Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Sickout over! ER nurses reach agreement with BVIHSA

Sickout over! ER nurses reach agreement with BVIHSA

Nurses at the Emergency Room of Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital have reportedly halted their sickout in protest of poor working conditions at the medical facility.

Virgin Islands News Online (VINO)’s sources said the number of issues plaguing the nurses and their support staff was many.

Our sources said they have not had any risk and uniform allowance for years, they suffer from a lack of proper facilities in the ER and inadequate staff, they have had a stagnant pay for years, they have experienced disrespect by the hierarchy and the lack of personal protective equipment is also an issue in this COVID-19 era.

We understood that since the sick-out protest started last Friday, February 4, 2022, a total of 22 nurses and their support staff took part in the sick-out protest.

Premier intervenes


We learned that Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), along with Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL), met with staff earlier in the week to discuss the concerns.

A follow-up meeting is also planned for this coming Monday as they had requested time to investigate the concerns and come up with solutions.

According to one of the ER nurses, the BVIHSA has agreed to immediately ensure that overtime is paid accurately and on time, along with providing sufficient personal protective equipment to protect staff and patients, and improving employer and employee relationship.


Nurses returning to work 'in good faith'


In the meantime, staff has pledged to act in good faith and resume work tomorrow.

According to one of the ER nurses, the BVIHSA has agreed to immediately ensure that overtime is paid accurately and on time, along with providing sufficient personal protective equipment to protect staff and patients, and improving employer and employee relationships.

“At this present moment we are acting in good faith because the institution has asked us for some time so that the internal committees can meet so they can put the proposal on the table and sort out what they would be able to give to us in the short term, medium-term and long term,” the BVIHSA’s employee informed, adding that they are confident that their requests will be met.

When the nurses proceeded on sickout, nurses from other departments were made to fill the void. This was criticised by the striking nurses, who said having nurses 'untrained for the ER' was risky.

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