PHA HAPPY TO RENEW SHIFT SYSTEM DISCUSSION WITH BAHAMAS NURSES UNION

Press Release
For Immediate Release
(Tuesday, March 26th, 2019)

 

PHA HAPPY TO RENEW SHIFT SYSTEM DISCUSSION

 WITH BAHAMAS NURSES UNION

 The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) today confirmed its willingness to re-engage the Bahamas Nurses Union in discussions regarding a standardized shift system for nurses in its employ.

 Late last year the PHA announced that it would defer its original implementation date of December 10th, 2018. While no new implementation date was given, the Authority maintained that it was open to further discussions with the BNU in an effort to arrive at a compromise regarding the amount of compensation proposed via a shift premium, recognizing that the Authority has limited financial resources to support this initiative. The original proposal provided compensation for nurses scheduled to work between the hours of 6:00 pm to 6:00 am of $1.75 per hour in addition to their regular pay.

 The PHA maintains that the successful implementation of the new shift system will: 

  • Establish a standardized 8-hour daily shift and a 40-hour work week which greatly improves our ability to roster nurses;
  • Improve the delivery of healthcare and ensure better patient outcomes through better nursing coverage.
  • Reduce the number of accidents and errors given the reduced hours of work during the night shift (8 hours compared to 10); and
  • Eliminate inequities of the current night shift system that allows nurses to work four days then be awarded four nights off, resulting in night duty nurses to be on paid leave for 77 more days per year compared to nurses that work day shifts;

Further, the organization advised that the proposed change to the work schedules of night duty nurses is a clear indication of the PHA’s ongoing commitment to ensure that its Human Resources policies are consistent with ratified labour agreements and regional and international standards of practice.  At present, of all of the PHA’s existing categories of staff, only the nursing cadre’s work schedule remains out of step with widely accepted practice.

While the standardization of shifts for nurses across the PHA remains a matter for future discussions with the BNU, there are many matters where the PHA and the BNU share common ground.  These include the need to promote the profession; a commitment to increasing the number of highly-trained local nurses; the expansion of opportunities for professional development and training for nurses; the need to ensure fair and equitable compensation; and the ongoing improvement and maintenance of the environment in which they practice.

The PHA remains committed to improving the delivery of healthcare within the Bahamas through ongoing education, training and the development of our staff and physical environs.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Judy Terrell
Director of Communications PHA
Tele: 1(242)502-3228/1(242)376.3760
Email: jterrell@phabahamas.org