By Makeida Antonio
The fourth week of protests by some of the staff at a government-run facility began yesterday.
Workers at the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital continued their efforts to get the Ministry of Health to pay outstanding monies due to them for overtime, and to address poor working conditions at the facility.
Other issues include access to running water for the patients and for sanitation purposes, and a washing machine for laundry.
Shop Steward Ava Bowen acknowledged that while some of the workers received monies and returned to their duties, those who are still awaiting their overtime, risk allowance, and covid pay will remain off the job.
She said some lighting has been placed on the compound but felt it was insufficient. Minor progress has been made with clearing trees but staff want to see greater improvement.
“Nothing else has been done. We are not getting answers towards our other part of overtime because we were told that a part was paid and the other part hasn’t been paid and persons haven’t received any money yet. We are saying that those who haven’t gotten anything should get something with the rest of the money that is left back. Tell us something,” Bowen told Observer yesterday.
Additionally, she indicated that staff are desirous of returning to work under better conditions to provide proper care for mental health patients at the country’s lone psychiatric facility.
“These staff that are out here; I can tell you this is the backbone for Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital. We are dedicated workers; we are working hard so that we can give the best service to mental health. They are not recognising mental health now we are feeling the strain because they are treating us just like how they are treating mental health patients,” she added.
Observer contacted a Ministry of Health official regarding the protest action but that person declined to comment on the matter.