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No negotiations unless Linden nurses call off “illegal” strike over CEO’s ‘sweetman’ remarks

Last Updated on Saturday, 6 March 2021, 17:06 by Denis Chabrol

Malcolm Watkins

The Ministry of Health  on Saturday deemed as “illegal” the strike by nurses at the Linden Hospital Complex  and urged that that industrial action be called off before negotiations about the future of the Chief Executive Officer, Rudy Small can resume.

The Ministry of Health says the strike by nurses at the Linden Hospital Complex is illegal and must be called off before negotiations about the future of the Chief Executive Officer, Rudy Small can resume,” the Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry, Malcolm Watkins said in a statement.

He added that although the Health Ministry said it was ready to meet the nurses and the Guyana Public Service Union through the Ministry of Labour, the healthcare workers there continue to remain off the job.’

Mr. Watkins reiterated that the Health Ministry was ready to resume talks, which began on March 4, only if the strike is brought to an end. “The Ministry of Health says the strike by nurses at the Linden Hospital Complex is illegal and must be called off before negotiations about the future of the Chief Executive Officer, Rudy Small can resume,” the Permanent Secretary added.

Rudy Small

The Health Ministry gave no indication that it was ready to let go of the Chief Executive Officer. Instead, the Permanent Secretary highlighted that Mr. Small had apologised on a number of occasions and was even warned that if there was a recurrence, he would face consequences. “Mr. Small, nevertheless, was  immediately instructed to report to the Permanent Secretary’s office, where he was rebuked and warned that any further such uncalled for behavior will not be accepted without consequence,” said Mr. Watkins.

Mr. Small’s utterance that the nurses, instead of working their shifts go to meet their ‘sweetman’,” angered the nurses. GPSU Vice President Dawn Gardner has expressed concern that such a remark has been fuelling reports of distrust and domestic violence  among spouses in Linden.

Ms. Gardner regarded Mr. Small’s remarks as unethical because, making those disparaging remarks, he should gave investigated the allegations.