Marlene Augustine Friday, April 7 2017

WHILE nurses in Trinidad were happy to receive their back pay earlier this week, nurses in Tobago have not been paid.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nursing Association Idi Stewart told Newsday yesterday the non-payment of back pay to Tobago nurses was the same problem they had last year when the first 50 percent was disbursed. “Trinidad nurses got it, but it took Tobago nurses three to four months before they got their own,” Stewart said.


He said he was told that it was not the Ministry of Health’s responsibility and he should direct his queries to the Secretary for Health at the Tobago House of Assembly.

“The Secretary for Health comes like the Minister of Health for Tobago, and the person responsible for that is the Minister of Finance to forward the cheque to THA, then the cheque will be forwarded to Tobago Regional Health Authority who will pay the nurses.” He continued, “The Minister of Finance is impossible to get onto, and it is only the Secretary of Health we are trying to work with. We are giving them a deadline but I prefer not to say when the deadline is because we want to surprise them publicly. We have spoken to them telling them the urgency of the matter because protective services across TT were paid. Why have nurses in Trinidad been paid and not nurses in Tobago?” He said the association has called on the Secretary for Health to meet with the association to address the matter with great urgency because the nurses in Tobago, once again, feel neglected.

“Nurses don’t really like to protest for money but it always seems that we are being taken for granted. With nurses you have to contemplate and be battling.

Nurses are taking up offers to migrate to greener pastures. We as an association are trying to encourage nurses to hold on. We are asking them to stay and work for the betterment of our country but it seems like a losing battle because every day.”

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