“We will show you what the last can do,” says Williams
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As The Bahamas prepares for an increase in cases stemming from the holidays and a potential third wave, nurses said yesterday that as a result of the government’s continued deplorable treatment of them, come December 31, “anything can happen”.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President Amancha Williams said: “You’re testing us again. We ga’ show you what the test is all about. December 31, anything can happen. This will be the last ever that the government — any government — will take advantage of the nurses.
“If the prime minister does not do what he says…
“The last time I was at the table, he said to me: ‘Don’t threaten me.’
“No, I am not threatening you, I am telling you the nurses are tired of the empty eggshell.
“You don’t leave us for the last. We are the essential service.
“We will not be left for the last and we will show you what the last can do.
“I have nothing else to say. That should be the end of it.
“We will show you. We have to because he has been taking advantage of us on every run.”
Outside the Churchill Building yesterday, Minister of Health Renward Wells said the government is committed to making ex gratia payments to nurses who stepped forward at the onset of the pandemic to fight against the coronavirus, but that that payment will come when funds become available.
Wells was unable to provide a timeline.
“We have been feeding the Bahamian people,” he said.
“We have been seeking to keep the economy of The Bahamas going.
“When the government is in a position whereby we can meet that part of our commitment, because that’s an ex gratia payment, it’s an additional payment on your payment already for the works that you have been doing.
“So, when the government is in a better position to do that, we will do just that.
“We will meet our commitment.”
According to Williams, the prime minister made a commitment to provide the ex gratia payment to nurses this month.
But she said the minister’s statement was consistent with the government’s disrespect of nurses who have risked their lives to treat COVID patients and enabled the “country to remain open”.
She asked what will happen when the nurses reciprocate the government’s poor treatment.
The BNU president added that nurses on Abaco and Grand Bahama who worked to save lives during Hurricane Dorian last September were still awaiting promises from the government.