NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Public Services Union (BPSU) president Kimsley Ferguson yesterday said new measures on the treatment of public service workers who are required to self-quarantine, are ‘too broad’.
Ferguson urged the government to sit down with union representatives to plot the best way forward.
During a national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said returning Bahamians and residents who do not have a negative COVID-19 test will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Minnis said the quarantine period will be counted as vacation for public servants, adding if vacation time is not an option, the public servant’s salary will be deducted.
Yesterday, Ferguson said: “There are particular policies in place that address any kind of sick leave in the public service and a persons vacation is their entitlement and no one should be able to tap into that unless the person volunteers.
“Public servants have 20 or 28 days sick leave and when those are exhausted there is a process where they can apply for extended sick leave.”
Ferguson also expressed concern over how public service workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job are to be treated.
“There are public servants like nurses, police and defense force officers who may contract COVID-19 as a result of their employment,” Ferguson said.
“How can you penalize them and take their entitlement when as a result of their job they have contracted COVID-19 and have to find ways to quarantine at home. The statement is a bit too broad.”