The BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), which manages all public health facilities in the territory, has agreed to increase salaries for all categories of its workers, and to review current contracting guidelines to ensure equality in the engagement of staff.
The decisions, which were announced in a letter this month, followed consultations and a protest that the BVI Medical Doctors Association had staged at Peebles Hospital in February.
The lobby group said it intensified the push to have the issues addressed after it saw a BVI News Online publication that highlight major ‘discrepancies’ in the payment schedule for various categories of workers.
The Medical Doctors Association had called for – among other things – the implementation of standardized salary scales, the payment of a standard on-call allowance, an end to late payment of gratuity, timely renewal of employment contracts, and the payment of housing allowance also to BVIslanders.
It is not clear if the BVIHSA will fulfill all the requests the Medical Doctors Association had made.
But the BVIHSA, in the March letter seen by BVI News Online, promised to conduct further reviews before the salary increase takes effect.
“The Board of Directors of the BVI Health Services Authority, based on recommendations of the Chief Executive Officer, has agreed for an increase of salaries for all categories of staff. The review process has started and is comprehensive. It involves a review of each individual staff member’s file to verify professional certification, experience, and years of service… Meetings will be held with each category of staff to inform of the new salaries and contract amendments,” the BVIHSA said in the letter.
It added, “The process also includes a review of current contracting guidelines to ensure equality in the engagement of staff. As a result of the initial review, the Board, in consultation with the CEO, has agreed for salary increases to be implemented for Medical Doctors, Nursing Personnel, Allied Health Professionals, Technical Units, Support Units, and Managerial Staff as each group is reviewed.”
The BVIHSA’s letter also noted the need for a ‘new performance culture’ that corresponds with the strategic aim of achieving accreditation status.
“Together with enhanced compensation arrangements for all staff, as indicated above, the Board has directed for an increased focus on performance accountability in keeping with the BVIHSA Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct in terms of working hours, professional ethics, improved practices and so forth.”
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