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The Linden hospital complex was shutdown yesterday after no compromise between the administration and workers was forthcoming about the payment of gratuity to workers. Only a skeleton staff was on hand to deal with emergencies.And GPSU representative,Wholesale Jerseys Online, Maurice Butters, during an interview pointed out, “Our position is that the management and Ministry are making excuses not to pay persons.Because they have done it before—prepared supplementary paysheets — and we are sure that this can happen.”Butters said that the strike action will continue until a positive response is had from them. (Ministry and Administration)Workers are meanwhile insisting that gratuity payments must be made this month, and not in March. They are still to be paid from June to December 2010. This money had previously always been paid in FebruaryThey were adamant that there is no reason for the non-payment of gratuity at this time, as the money was already earned.A senior staff and lecturer at the Charles Rosa School of Nursing,Cheap Jerseys, who said she was on four months continuous sick leave,Cheap Jerseys, recently,Cheap Jerseys From China, pointed out,Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys, “According to my understanding, I should be paid gratuity. Since sick leave is an authorized leave I was really expecting my gratuity, since it is paid on a monthly basis for services rendered to the institution.“Employees are not pensionable workers; gratuity has taken the place of pension, so at the end of your tenure all you have is your month salary alone.“I have been employed with the institution,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, for over 30 years, so you can understand my plight now on coming back, and to be told that I have to work before I can receive my gratuity.”(According to some of the nurses the woman was called and told she could not receive her gratuity, even though she had taught her students at her home during the period of her illness, and got 100 per cent passes.)She called the administration insensitive, as it was known all along that her sick leave was genuine, yet the administration had the temerity to tell her that she had to work, before she could receive her gratuity.She added that she had been on sick leave before and had received her gratuity, and so was expecting the same thing to happen, but the administrator told her that the policy has changed; and that they were doing appraisals for those persons who were supposed to receive gratuity.There is no medical scheme or pension for workers at the Linden hospital complex.Meanwhile the Ministry of Health had been given an ultimatum by the GPSU to make gratuity payments this month or it would instruct staff of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) to resume industrial action.The GPSU had further stated, “Workers are calling on the government to have the status of the hospital regulated once and for all so as to eliminate the sad state of affairs. There must be unambiguous rules and regulations.“The only way to do this would be to corporatize the Linden Hospital Complex and change the status of the Management Committee to a Board and for this to be done immediately.”The decision by the GPSU  followed a recent meeting with  the concerned parties at the Ministry of Health.At that meeting it was confirmed that gratuity payments will be paid in March and September instead of February and August as was previously done.Nurses and ancillary staff of the LHC had proceeded on a sit-in on Thursday last to protest a decision by the hospital administration to pay gratuity in March and September.GPSU representative, Maurice Butters, said that the union was told at the meeting by Permanent Secretary Hydar Ally that “they already put the payment for March and that they (workers) would not be paid their gratuity this month.”He added that the Union had given the ministry 48 hours to withdraw that ruling or the workers would resume industrial action.According to Butters, when the hospital was taken over by the Ministry of Health from the Bauxite Industry Development Corporation (BIDCO) in 1996,  then Minister of Health Gail Teixeira had told staff at a meeting that their employment status would have been regularised within a year and that while the documentation and legal process were being done, the Ministry would place the workers on contract for one year and would pay gratuity every six months.This was to ensure that they would not lose any monies due as pension. They had also been told that the gratuity would be in lieu of pension that they would have lost during the transition, according to Butters.The Ministry of Health subsequently appointed a Management Committee to manage the complex, Butters added. The committee was provided with the corporate laws and regulations to prepare a draft legislation to corporatize the hospital.“This was done and submitted to the Ministry, but nothing was ever done to fulfill that promise,” Butters said.However instead of corporatizing the hospital, a Regional Authority was established.“Again all the relevant documentations were given to the Management Committee to prepare a draft regulation to set up the authority,but this was never done.”Butters said that the new mandate to pay gratuity in March and September is based on a circular from 2006, which management has only now sought to put into effect.
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