By Alexis R. Milan
A go-slow, staged by disgruntled Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) employees who believe they are entitled to salary increases, has officially ended, following a meeting between worker representatives, hospital management and a ministerial “task-force”.
The Cabinet negotiating team, comprised of Minister of Labor Godwin Hulse as well as Minister of Health Pablo Marin and Minister of Education Patrick Faber. There were eight KHMH employees representing the rest of KHMH staff at the meeting and the KHMH Board of Governors sitting in at the middle.
Both sides agreed the discussion was amicable and enough to bring the go-slow to an end. They agreed to have future meetings to negotiate terms moving forward. Faber said both sides also agreed not to disclose the details of the meeting to the media and to settle the matter as effectively as possible.
KHMH Board of Governors Chair Chandra Cansino said that while she was unable to speak on the specifics of the meeting, it was established that the KHMH employees deserve the salary increase. Cansino said the issue is not a question of whether they deserve it, rather the issue is now for the workers to form a union to make a formal presentation on their behalf.
Cansino said the Public Service Union (PSU) would not be negotiating on the workers’ behalf, and that they would instead be forming their own union. It was reported that there were up to 60 KHMH employees who belonged to the PSU but resigned en-masse after they felt that the union hadn’t done enough to bargain on their behalf during that union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the government two years agoThese discussions resulted in salary increases for public officers. PSU President Marvin Blades could not be reached to confirm this.
Cansino also said that other options would have to be considered. For instance, where public officers are charged two dollars a day when hospitalized at the KHMH, public officers may have to pay more to make the salary increases for KHMH workers a reality.