Fiennes Institute staff stage sit-in over unpaid allowances and overtime pay

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Workers at the Fiennes Institute stayed off the job for several hours yesterday to clamour for uniform allowances and overtime pay.

When Observer arrived at the elderly care home at around 10.45am Wednesday, the staff, who declined to speak on the record, were sitting outside the building refusing to go back inside.

General Secretary of the Public Service Association Janela Evanson – who said she is quite aware of the worker’s concerns – said efforts are underway to address the issues in question.

Evanson said similar situations are affecting other departments within the Ministry of Health.

“Staff have outstanding uniform allowances and overtime pay for many years. Staff is very agitated and we are working with the Ministry of Health to get the issues resolved,” she said.

Evanson said it appears that health authorities do not have a budget for salaries or uniforms.

“We are trying to be understanding,” she added.

She described yesterday’s action as “agitation” and not industrial action, noting that an official notice has to be given to the authorities before the latter can take place.

The staff is expected to return to work today, pending further discussions on the matter with their employer, the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

A Ministry of Health representative present on the scene yesterday declined to comment.

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