With support from APNU+AFC and GPSU, Georgetown nurses continue protest
Nurses in Georgetown continued protest action on Tuesday for better working conditions, better pay and risk allowances. The nurses were supported by the APNU+AFC members and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU).
General Secretary (ag) of the GPSU Kempton Alexander told the News Room that the healthcare workers have been putting themselves and families at risk every day since the COVID-19 health crisis began in March.
“We are at risk and there is no allowance to help us and our family and since this pandemic occurred it would have cost us more than what we would have been spending normally. We have working conditions issues with things that are not readily available to us,” Alexander said.
Alexander said so far there has been no move by the Government to address this issue.
Meanwhile, APNU+AFC Member of Parliament Coretta McDonald said the show of support to the health workers is in recognition of the hard work and sacrifice they make.
“We recognize that they have been struggling with quite a lot and they are making demands for very simple things and as a Government who ought to care, we would expect in this COVID-19 pandemic that the first set of persons you would rush to offer assistance would have been our healthcare workers but it seems as if the modus operandi is different.”
“So we are here today to give support to our healthcare workers because we recognize that our lives are in the hands of health care workers and if they are not provided with the materials the resources to ensure their safety then you could very well imagine what would happen to us, the people of Guyana and so our demonstration here believes health care workers deserve better,” McDonald said.
The health workers in Georgetown will continue protest actions on Wednesday and Thursday. Similar protests were held last week in Linden, the West Bank and the West Coast of Demerara, New Amsterdam in Region Six and Suddie in Region Two.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has made it clear that it will take action against the protesting nurses.
A memo issued to all Regional Health Officers by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Collette Adams, threatened to take action against the workers who participated in “unauthorised” protests across the country.
The 2020 budget, which was passed in the National Assembly last Friday, caters for $150M to pay risk allowance to healthcare workers.