Nurses at the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital have agreed to return to their normal duties, ending weeks of protest over unsuitable working conditions.
The decision came following a meeting between the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association and officials within the Ministry of Health.
“The meeting has been very successful…they have made some concrete promises and they have started a few things on the list and so far we are pleased. But as I said we are waiting for the other things to start as soon as possible. Barring that, the nurses have agreed to go back out to their regular duties,” president of the Nurses Association Karen Josiah said.
Josiah also said the nurses are going in good faith, trusting the words of Health Minister Molwyn Joseph that the sanitary conditions and other problems at Clarevue will be addressed so that the nurses will not have to resort to further industrial action.
However, Josiah added: “We are going to be checking on the ministry on a daily basis on the things that were started so we can know exactly what has been done and based on that we will make another decision. The union is pleased with the meetings, but will be playing a close attention to what transpires going forward after that.”
Weeks ago, the nurses joined with staff at the country’s lone psychiatric hospital to press for better working conditions, a problem they have been seeking to rectify for years.
Some improvements were made last year, but the workers complained that those changes were to make life easier for the doctors and other medical personnel at Clarevue, and not the general staff body.
Most of the staff at Clarevue are being represented by the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association.