WICSU expresses solidarity with hospital workers

POSTED: 08/2/13 4:26 PM

St. Maarten -The Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/ Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) has expressed solidarity with the struggle of workers at the St. Maarten Medical Centre. The workers on Wednesday downed tools, and engaged in protest action, against the institution’s board making unanimous decisions to hire directors from the Netherlands. After a tumultuous period under the leadership of the former director Dr. George Scot, the workers say they do not want to attract any other controversy to the healthcare institution. Incoming director, Holland-based Gersji Rodrigues Pereira was battered by the Dutch media over his handling of acute infections that were discovered in many facilities that he supervised there.

Union president Derie Leonard assured that the employees at the SMMC are not alone. They have the support of her entire membership.

“We are in solidarity with them with this issue that they are fighting against.  In life your past is what tells your future and there are some discrepancies about this gentleman, I cannot indulge in because I did not read it myself. However, the workers are not happy with the decision neither is the minister happy.”

The union leader added that the grievances of the workers may fall on deaf ears and may not even result in a reversed decision, but the employees ought to have been engaged by the institution’s supervisory council as a form of social dialogue.

“At a given moment, the workers should be respected, when certain decisions are made, I think they should have an input in decision making. If an institution had a previous problem with mismanagement and then here it is, you are inviting another sore, then eventually, we will have to cut the foot off. This is not healthy.”

Leonard said that its time that the SMMC gets a local director.

“I think we have enough educated, qualified, experienced persons here in our community. Also many parents are sending their children away to study and making investments yet they cannot come back home. Not that they do not want to come back home but there are no opportunities for them to come back because of whatever reason. At a given moment, these things have to be looked at very seriously,” she concluded.

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