Chanting “we don’t want praise, we need a raise”, nurses at Glendon Hospital on Thursday morning walked off the job to protest their working conditions.
The nurses say they are overworked, underpaid and more staff are urgently needed.
The demonstration which included singing, chanting and signs, follows last week’s surprise departure of members of the Cuban medical team who have been working on Montserrat since July 2020.
Premier Joseph Farrell stated in the recent budget debates that they were still working through political channels to work on a new agreement with the Cuban government. Ministry of Health officials have declined to comment on the departure of the Cubans and would not confirm why some left and others didn’t.
On Thursday, nurses, nurses aids, and retired nurses marched outside the island’s hospital, chanting “nurses matter, treat us better.”
Signs noted that lack of career development was the number one reason for nurses leaving the island to work abroad.
Nurse Violet Brown said on social media that the nurses recruited from abroad were not given any housing allowances and were worse off here than where they came from.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Braimah Kassim has said the Minister of Health Charles Kirnon has confirmed to the nurses that the minister will meet with them on Friday afternoon at 1PM to hear their concerns.
Nurse Brenda Daley said she has every confidence of the minister through his ministry provide a favourable response to the nurses.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been calls for nurses to be paid additionally for their yeoman’s service in proving health care. The government has not allocated any increases to salaries despite their continued articulation of thanks and praise for their work.