Union accuses health minister of breaking his promise

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Two unions representing staff at the Central Medical Stores have accused the Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph, of retracting a “commitment” made to the staff in their longstanding battle for a safer work environment.
Industrial Officer at Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU), Ralph Potter, said Joseph told the unions the employees would be seconded to the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) – another subsidiary of his ministry.
Yesterday, Joseph, the minister with responsibility for Central Medical Stores told OBSERVER media, “I did not make any such promise and that can be corroborated by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of health and the environment.”
However, Potter’s response was: “So, they have changed the ball game, so to speak, in that they are now saying something different and we are in total disagreement.”
Despite the plans for MBS’ to take over the operations of the Central Medical Stores, Potter said that MBS management “does not want the workers”, and implied that the 10 employees’ roles as productive established and non-established workers are in jeopardy.
“The management of medical benefits want to take over the place and find their own people to put in there and that ministry will have to find places to put the workers. We are saying, that was not the commitment of the minister in the meeting on January 23,” Potter said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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