Fiennes workers say no cheques disbursed on Day 2

Employees at Fiennes Institute said the remaining outstanding overtime pay cheques were not available at the main office as promised by health ministry officials.

This comes one day after 30 workers staged a sit-in and partial payments were handed to them at the end of the workday.

When OBSERVER media visited the home for the poor and elderly on Queen Elizabeth Highway on Wednesday, staff said they were prohibited from speaking with members of the media.

However, later that day an employee speaking under anonymity said, she only received overtime pay for Good Friday, Easter Monday and Labour Day, despite working on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, and during Hurricane Irma.

The source said more than half of the employees have not received a uniform voucher or reimbursement for the special shoes they are required to wear.

The source explained that the health ministry distributes 12 yards of the cloth needed then staff is expected to pay a seamstress to complete the outfit. Yesterday, $240 was given to the source, who claimed that is not enough as seamstresses charge $100 for one uniform.

The disgruntled employee added that the bursar at the health ministry then expects a receipt of what was paid. The employee further said her four uniforms cannot be covered by what is reimbursed.

OBSERVER media has learnt that the majority of the employees, who spoke out about the outstanding payment, were previously employed at the now closed Holberton Hospital.

Yesterday, domestic aid works, orderlies, grounds-men and ward assistants started their protest action around 7 a.m., and called for a meeting with Master of Fiennes Alton Forde.

Instead,  the health ministry’s permanent secretary Walter Christopher met with them and promised partial payments. However, the workers say the ministry’s decision to give partial payments did not include addressing their other needs such as a shoe allowance or a commitment to improve the facility.

The staff who are rotated on three shifts daily also say they do not have the manpower to care for the 63 residents at Fiennes.

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