Health support workers plan stop work

Members of the Papua New Guinea Health Support Workers Association (PNGHSWA) are planning to go on a nationwide strike.

Over 3000 frustrated heath support workers, at all hospitals across the country, from cleaners and administration staff to bio engineers and technicians, morgue attendants and laundry staff, are ready to walk off. 

The planned strike will be taken against the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) for prolonged delay on the log of claims which includes housing allowance, pay increase, leave entitlements and other industrial matters. 

PNGHSWA general secretary Jack Suao said the members are intact and ready to go on strike if further delayed by the Ministerial Executive Appointment Committee (MEAC).

Suao has called on MEAC to fast track on the appointment of the arbitration tribunal board members and the renewal of the Chairlady Employment Contract, which have been delayed since 2015.

Their appointment will allow the arbitration tribunal to procced on by this month.

Suao said the Association members are frustrated and will be walking off their job despite the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on December 10, 2016.

“Our negotiation is currently delayed due to some technical administration errors under the Department of Labour and Industrial Relation,” Suao said.

“We will seek the legal opinion on the validity of our strike, which has been deferred to a later date to take strike action.

“The health support workers are now ready and once the PNGHSWA executives set a date, the workers will walk off their jobs.”

Suao added that the executives will meet next week to set a date for the stop work.

Services that will be affected include the NCD Health, Area Medical Store and the Department of Health.

The planned stop work had been delayed since Friday, December 9, 2016.

Quintina Naime