A political u-turn by the federal government that withdrew the choice to pay healthcare employees on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic an additional €50 per shift has left nurses feeling they’re caught up in the midst of a commerce union battle.
Various nurses and healthcare employees have contacted The Shift to spotlight a state of affairs they’re dealing with within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the place they really feel they’re pawns in a recreation the place the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) and Normal Employees Union (GWU) are the primary gamers.
It began in March when the nurses’ union proposed compensation of €50 per shift as a “hazard allowance” for its members engaged on the frontline, which was agreed to by the federal government. But, this was known as off on the final minute, which got here as a shock.
“We thought we had an settlement and we had been even knowledgeable that the federal government had already accomplished the costing round it. We had cause to consider the Well being Minister was all for it,” a MUMN union member advised The Shift.
One other well being employee mentioned this modification of coronary heart from the federal government was discouraging to healthcare employees who had been doing their job regardless of the risks.
Nonetheless, the precise request for hazard allowance was seen by a few of the nurses and well being employees as offensive because it didn’t characterize the working spirit throughout this time.
“Folks have misplaced their jobs; are we actually going to battle for a further €50?” a nurse on the Emergency Division advised The Shift. “This cash may go for higher gear or higher take care of our sufferers. However the union (MUMN) made it appear like we aren’t doing this from the center.”
Some even aired their disapproval on social media to precise their disgust at how MUMN is “taking benefit” of the pandemic. “We have now been understanding and supportive of the state of affairs, but I see this fixed bickering and makes an attempt at making the most of a fragile state of affairs coming from a couple of fellow nurses and MUMN representatives,” Bernard Gatt wrote in a publish on Fb.
Actually, a lot of healthcare employees wished to disassociate themselves from the MUMN and resigned, signing up with the GWU as an alternative.
When contacted, a MUMN official performed down the severity of the difficulty saying that the group who jumped ship amounted to round 20. “Some even have twin membership, simply to be politically secure,” he mentioned.
The Shift spoke to healthcare employees from totally different departments together with the labour ward and emergency division, in addition to docs working at Mater Dei. Their views, though typically conflicting, raised questions in regards to the authorities’ strategy to the pandemic.
“It seems that regardless of the real efforts by the native well being authorities to maintain the pandemic in Malta below management, the long run results of how the nation is coping with COVID-19 will not be being considered,” one nurse mentioned.
One other in contrast it to a honeymoon interval, mentioning that the authorities wanted to consider the long run. “It’s nice to see the federal government taking a pro-active strategy however we’re going via a honeymoon interval and until we do one thing about it, we’ll remorse it sooner or later”.
These conflicting views on how Malta is coping with the pandemic create doubt and lift questions as as to whether the general public is being proven the complete image. A transparent instance is a current report by the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management the place Malta was one of many seven nations that registered a better mortality charge than anticipated amongst individuals aged 65 and over. This larger mortality charge was registered in March, regardless of the low variety of deaths attributed by the native well being authorities to coronavirus.
The onset of the pandemic additionally placed on maintain the federal government’s plans to make use of nurses from India and recruitment plans – a transfer that confirmed some dodgy firms taking over the supply. It was halted due to the outbreak in India and the lockdown within the nation that prevented journey. Some say this was a blessing in disguise.
This week, the federal government has relaxed the preventative measures put in place to regulate the unfold of the pandemic because the numbers of constructive circumstances have dropped.
The federal government has been very vocal in regards to the worldwide reward it has acquired for the best way it dealt with the pandemic and not too long ago issued a press release quoting a German credit score company that listed Malta as one of many prime 5 nations on the earth in its means to withstand the pandemic.
— to theshiftnews.com