PNGNA Threatens Strike

President of the Papua New Guinea Nurses Association (PNGNA), had announced the possible withdrawal of nursing services by members of the association nationwide, by Monday 8 November 2021.

This is due to the non-adherence and commitment from the government of the nurses industrial award 2021-2023.

A 14-day notice was issued on 25 October to the office of the Secretary for Personnel Management, Taies Sansan.  

PNGNA still awaits a response.

PNGNA President Frederick Kebai confirmed that there is still no response from the Department of Personnel Management.

Kebai said since the press conference on Sunday 31 October, his office received a phone call from the Department of Health to arrange for dialogue. However, he said there is still no word from the Department of Personnel Management.

Kebai said by Friday 5 November 2021, PNGNA would strategize a plan of action for Monday 8 November.

In effective from January 1 2021, is a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that determines the 2021-2023 Salaries and Allowance for nursing officers in Papua New Guinea.

The agreement exists between the Department of Personal Management, on behalf of the state together with the National Department of Health and the PNG Nurses Association, on behalf of the nurses.

On October 25, 2021, PNGNA served a letter to Secretary Taies Sansan of the Department of Personnel Management. The letter calls on the department to implement by pay 19 2021, the nurses industrial awards. Failure to do so would result in the possible fallout and withdrawal of PNGNA’s nursing workforce across the country on the 8th of November 2021.

The PNGNA has over 4,000 paying members. Kebai emphasized that it is vital that nurses are being compensated accordingly.

He expressed that nurses are front-line workers and at the most times, overworked. They work under duress amidst the shortage of manpower and for the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic, thus, the implementation of the industrial awards is called for.

President Kebai stressed that failure to implement the nurses award component by pay 19 2021, all nurses under the PNG will participate in a nationwide strike.

Marysilla Kellerton