As the Board of Directors at the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) meets today in an attempt to settle a major salary dispute, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie has called for central government to become involved in the matter to ensure it is resolved speedily and amicably.
Some medical practitioners – led by the BVI Medical Doctors Association – protested at Peebles Hospital yesterday to press home their demand for an end to ‘discrepancies’ in compensation.
They specifically want – among other things – the Association to be involvement in contract negotiations, 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 employees who are not expatriates.
The opposition leader, in a statement last evening, noted that he will be watching the salary dispute closely.
“I am currently away from the territory. I do not know the full details pertaining to the ongoing disputes at BVI Health Services Authority. However, I pray that the matter is resolved in an amicable manner so that our healthcare system can grow from strength to strength. I intend to keep a close eye on the matter, and I hope it gets the urgent attention it deserves,” Fahie said.
“It is important and urgent that the government now seek to step in to resolve the current issues that the BVIHSA faces in the best interest of all.”
Flabbergasted and disappointed
In the meantime, member of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party Sharie DeCastro, in a post on social networking site Facebook, said the Medical Doctors Association’s requests are ‘practical and reasonable’.
She declared: “Yes doctors! Stand up and be counted! Doctors are not complaining about the work. They want to see their hard work reflected in their pay – and guess what? They deserve it! After seeing a publication late last year which revealed a breakdown of the salaries of doctors in the BVI, I was utterly flabbergasted and disappointed. I stand with them! United we bargain; divided we beg! I hope the revolution continues!”
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