Discussions between the St. Lucia Nurses Association (SLNA) and the Government Negotiation Team (GNT) for better working conditions concluded yesterday, September 17, President of the SLNA Lydia Leonce has told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
Leonce explained that while discussions with the GNT were favourable, they are a still a number of issues that they were unable to address due to financial constraints.
“There were certain conditions we were asking for, but because they have perspective financial implications, they were not approved” she told SNO.
The president disclosed however that based on mutual agreements between the SLNA and the GNT, they have managed to come to a suitable resolution until better can be done.
“Obviously negotiations are a give and take so we took all the matters to the table and we try it out and basically we had a favourable outcome” she added.
Leonce said the association’s next move would be to engage in talks about wage negotiations. However she added that that aspect of the negotiations is done collectively through the Trade Union Federation (TUF).
The SLNA had commenced discussions with the GNT on September 2. The three-year collective bargaining agreement between the SLNA and government expired in 2013 and will be renewed in this new negotiation.
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 5 per cent cut could have negative effects on the profession and affect the quality of service provided to patients.