Nearly 60 employees at the Central Board of Health (CBH) have pledged to continue their protest action into a third day, which they started with a sit-in on Monday over outstanding back pay, including overtime.
The protesting workers are attached to the CBH’s Vector Control Unit and its Sanitisation Department, and refused to work for a second day yesterday, after meeting with their union representative on site.
The workers are reportedly insisting on “making their voices heard”, despite receiving word that approval has been given for the outstanding payments to be made.
That approval was given on Monday, according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Senior Health Inspector Julienne Mannix told Observer that information on the outstanding payments “was relayed to the different heads of department … that the staff should be receiving a set of their overtime money this Friday”.
However, word is that the workers remained suspicious due to ‘false promises’ in the past, and will only be satisfied once “the money hits their accounts”.
“Work at the department is being affected due to the sit-in, because that would mean that drains are not being cleaned, litter picking is not being carried out; we’d have to rely on machinery to deal with grave-digging and covering,” Mannix said.
“Vector complaints coming in from different government institutions would not have been addressed [and] mosquito breeding sites would not have been treated.”
Staff at the CBH have engaged in similar actions over outstanding monies previously, and based on the disruptions already being caused, Mannix is hopeful that the issues can be resolved as soon as possible.
“We hope that the staff could receive their money soonest, so they can return to regular work,” she told Observer.