Temporary nurses cry out for late wages

Temporary nurses believe they are being treated like second class health workers by being forced to wait up to three months for their wages while senior officials are being paid on time.

So frustrated are they that one felt compelled to complain to Barbados TODAY about the situation.

According to the nurse of 15 years, temporary health caregivers from the St Philip Hospital, the Geriatric Hospital and the George Cummins Hospital had not been paid since the end of last year, with no explanation.

And even more frustratingly, both the Ministry of Health and the Personnel Department are playing a game of musical chairs with the nurses, she said.

“When you ask about your salary, they say it is an administrative problem . . . . It has been two months right now. The last time I got paid was in December.

“I went to the Ministry of Health, they say it is not their part, it is Personnel Administration part. When I check Personnel Administration, the people out there telling me that is the Ministry of Health,” the nurse said.

“They sent out a memo that temporary nurses and subs [substitute nurses] won’t be paid for January because of administrative reasons . . . but appointed people are paid on time.”

The nurse contended that the “old time system”, where the workers were paid according to positions of authority was forcing some temporary nurses to resort to working part time jobs at nursing homes or private residences.

“Sometimes you are so tired from the job you are doing, you don’t get to do it,” she said.

When contacted, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Cheryl Alleyne indicated she was unaware of the problem and that such issues should be discussed between the individual and the department.

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