Labour Director: No evidence of new shift system for nurses, investigation ongoing

Labour Director: No evidence of new shift system for nurses, investigation ongoing
Director of Labour John Pinder (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Director of Labour John Pinder yesterday said he has seen no evidence that there have been changes to the shift system for some nurses.

However, Pinder told Eyewitness News he is currently investigating the matter.

On Monday, some nurses in Grand Bahama called in sick amid claims that a long-protested eight-hour shift system was embedded in the appointment letters of new hires.

Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President Amancha Williams has threatened legal action over claims, insisting that nurses were blindsided and the new system represents a breach of the Industrial Agreement that covers all nurses working in the public sector.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, Pinder said: “I expect to get in a meeting to discuss this with the PHA to determine whether or not that is, in fact, the case.

“It’s all right now coming out of allegations.

“She has not shown any contract signed by any new nurses to suggest there is an eight-hour shift system in place.

“I have had a bit of correspondence with the minster who also indicated he will look into the matter.

“I have no evidence to show where there’s a new eight-hour shift system in place, other than what has been brought to me by the nursing president.”

Pinder admitted that the “for years” the PHA has attempted to negotiate a shift system with the union but it remains a contentious issue.

The shift change from four on/four off to five on/two off was announced by the Public Hospitals Authority in 2018 and repeated attempts to implement were staunchly protested by the union.