The St. Lucia Nurses Association (SLNA) commenced discussions with the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) yesterday, September 2.
President of the SLNA Lydia Leonce told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the first meeting has proven successful and the association is hoping that it will be the general theme for future meetings.
“It was a good meeting, it met the objectives we were discussing – conditions of work for our members – and usually at the first meeting you don’t get to agree upon everything you have asked for, so we have had agreements on some of the things we have asked for and we did get an agreement on some of the other things we have asked for,” she said.
Some of the issues have been deferred for further discussions. Both parties are likely to meet sometime next week to continue their discussion.
Leonce told SNO that the two weeks allotted to the SLNA to complete discussions will be enough for the wage negotiations and working conditions talks.
The SLNA had rejected the five per cent wage cut proposal and said it remains firm on its decision. The SLNA head had expressed dissatisfaction at the move and said the proposal is being made at a time when the island is facing a shortage of nurses.
Leonce had said that the five per cent cut could have negative effects on the profession and affect the quality of service provided to patients.
The three-year collective bargaining agreement between the SLNA and government expired in 2013 and will be renewed in this new negotiation.