One week of go-slow at the KHMH came to an end yesterday after a meeting between a team of eight staff representatives and the KHMH Board of governors as well as four Cabinet ministers. Those Cabinet members are Hon.Patrick Faber, Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Pablo Marin and Hon. Godwin Hulse . The meeting was held yesterday evening to negotiate a way forward since the KHMH workers want a 6% increase. Both Minister Faber and Minister Marin spoke to the media following the meeting.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Education – “We’ve agreed not to disclose the details of the meeting to the media, but I will tell you that there will be a joint release that will say that the meeting was amicable and indeed it was and that we have now set up a process that will last a little while longer, where we sit down and we engage all the parties to see how we can come up with improvements for the staff but also for KHMH. What we’ve agreed to say is that there will be a very aggressive time schedule, I don’t want to put a time because we did not agree to a time but we will move quickly. We see this as a matter of urgency and so we will not waste a single minute. We will put all our effort into resolving this matter in a manner that will be fair to all. They will agree to put forward a negotiating team on their part and the KHMH board will do likewise and where it is necessary that the government intervenes, the Cabinet sub-committee that was appointed, will do so. It is important for us to remind people that the KHMH is a statutory body and so it’s not controlled directly by the government and so really, when the sub-committee visits it’s really just for us to see. There is a lot of taxpaying dollars that goes into this institution and so we do have an interest but really, the managing authority of the hospital is the board.”
Pablo Marin, Minister of Health – “The first part was the PSU fighting for the increment and that includes KHMH as you know they are an essential service, I think that was the part that went wrong from the beginning. But now the government is working along with them and things will happen for KHMH.”
Reporter – “Things will happen meaning they will get their raise?”
Pablo Marin – “We will work along with them. Remember, we’re going to give a press release and we don’t want to say more than that and things will happen for KHMH. We know that it’s an essential service, the people from KHMH work very hard for our people. Majority of every referral that is sent to KHMH, they work at it, many people are saved and we are happy about that so we have to put our part also.”
Board Chairlady Chandra Cansino also said she could not divulge the contents of the meeting but also said that indeed, as Chairperson, she believes the workers deserve the raise and the matter of whether they “deserve” the raise is not the issue.
Chandra Cansino, Chairlady of KHMH Board – “Members of the Cabinet in these meetings is very helpful to us because this is information that we want them to get, we want them to have a better understanding of how Karl Heusner and the entire health system works. So they sat in the first meeting today and they will continue to sit in those meetings and they have committed in and of themselves to give whatever support that they can give to the negotiating team but unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to say exactly what those are at this time. They do richly deserve it and every single member of staff of Karl Heusner knows that I think that they deserve it and the entire board thinks that they deserve it. So it is not a question of whether or not they deserve it, it is a question of making the presentation formally as the PSU has done to build their case and provide commitments on both sides as to how we will improve Karl Heusner on a whole.”
Following the meeting, the joint press release was issued and confirmed that , quote, “An amicable meeting was held…where an agreement was made on the way forward…normal services will resume for all patients…as of today Monday July 20, 2015.”