By Zoila Palma: Today, the Nurses Association of Belize (NAB) issued a statement informing that after polling the nursing body, it stands in full support of the Joint Unions.
NAB says that it is advising nurses across Belize that it is ready to implement industrial action against the Government of Belize if the current impasse is not settled timely and to the satisfaction of pubic officers and in the best interest of the nation.
“In a recent survey carried out by the Nurses Association of Belize with and amongst our nurses, it was crystal clear and consistent that the nurses are against the announced salary cut by the Government of Belize. Furthermore, nurses are insisting that it is past time that the Government moves ahead in fast tracking the full implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), with a view of improving governance and enacting laws to stop the wanton mismanagement and exploitation of the peoples’ natural, human, and financial resources,” NAB expressed.
NAB says that the results of the Nurses Association of Belize survey are as follows:
99% of respondents are against any salary cut. Nurses have sacrificed a lot over the years and more so through the last 15 months, some working up to 60+ hours of overtime and not being paid. We have sacrificed our lives and the lives of our family with not as much as a word of thanks from the government.
94.5% of respondents are ready to stand against the government if the cuts are instituted as proposed and the laws to stop wasteful spending and the UNCAC agreement are not enacted.
60% support an increment freeze at most and over 80% support for only a maximum of 2 years. While the Government continues to raise the price of fuel and necessities of daily living continue to rise, a salary cut is counterproductive to maintenance of stability in the nursing households.
“As is, nurses have to work more than the standardized 40 hours per week, how does the government intend to compensate for the additional hours of overtime that will need to be paid given that work hours are going to be decreased as a result of the salary cut?,” the association stated.