With an upsurge of Covid-19 positive cases and a threat of an overwhelmed Health Care system, the Public Services Association (PSA) together with four other unions, met yesterday with the CEO and management of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), via a virtual meeting.
The PSA, represented by First Vice President Felisha Thomas and Second Vice President Avinash Maharajh, sought to ensure that SWRHA PSA members were adequately protected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PSA further sought assurances concerning:
– Consultations and agreements between management and employees with respect to employees’ extended hours of work during the pandemic.
– Information re the protocols that were put in place to guide employees who treated with positive Covid-19 patients.
– Protocols that guided employees who tested positive or were primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 positive individuals.
– Extended protocols for testing and quarantine for SWRHA members of staff.
SWRHA told PSA that they were guided by employee contracts and should any alterations to the working hours be required, the unions would be engaged. They also indicated to PSA that the existing Covid-19 protocols would soon be shared with the union. As such, the PSA is awaiting this information.
In the meeting, SWRHA further acknowledged that there was currently a shortage of staff and stated that approval to hire additional staff was granted. The management also informed the PSA that employees were encouraged to take vacation leave in an attempt to improve work/life balance. With respect to structured rotation, the SWRHA said that they planned to engage other Regional Health Authorities (RHA) in order to develop the best fit for rotation plans.