Health Minister says nurses presented overtime timesheets the ministry was “not aware of”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Health Renward Wells said yesterday that all nurses have already been paid money owed for overtime last year.
During the evening sitting of Parliament, Wells was standing on a point of order, where he sought to respond to both Pineridge MP Fredrick McAlpine and Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin.
“I did pay the nurses Pineridge, for the record,” Wells restored during his response to Hanna-Martin which erupted into a shouting match between the three.
He explained that there are three categories of people employed in the health sector — doctors, nurses, and support staff — all of whom are entitled to overtime after working from Dorian through COVID-19.
“There’s only one group that was paid from March to September overtime, the nurses,” Wells asserted.
“The nurses who work for the Public Hospitals Authority, every one of them has been paid their overtime.”
He noted that the problem came with Department of Public Service nurses.
He said he presented a Cabinet paper in September, and Cabinet agreed to pay all nurses overtime from March to September which was paid in October.
“We come into the New Year, all of a sudden there are other timesheets that have come between March and September that we are not aware of,” Wells continued.
“As a minister, I have gone back and I have insisted because I was told by those in the ministry that all of the nurses that would have been paid in September.
“As for all the nurses in the Department of Public Health, given where we are at now, it is an undertaking, and those who have now come forward, we will take care of it.”
Several nurses demonstrated outside of the House of Assembly yesterday in an effort to urge the government to pay money owed to them and protest against what they claimed is a continued lack of respect and unfair treatment.