The Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital Authority union workers and administration are at odds with each other over pension or, in this case, lack of one. In a meeting held in January, the administration had reportedly informed the staff that they were pensionable. Months later, however, via a memorandum dated June 28, they reneged and informed the employees that they were not pensionable. In response, the union wrote the Chief Executive Officer for the hospital, Michelle Hoare, accusing the administration of not looking out for the welfare of the employees and with that a group of them gathered at the hospital’s entrance last Friday in protest. This was all done in order to draw attention to their plight. Today, the union continued to seek clarity regarding whether they are pensionable by taking their concern to the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin. Lidia Blake, the President of KHMHA Workers Union spoke on how that meeting went.
Lidia Blake – President of KHMHA Workers Union: “We went and we have discussed various issues. They gave us some directives, we are going to do some drafting of some letters and writing, then come back to the table and negotiate. We offered the Minister there and then our stand as the KHMHA Workers Union is that we are waiting for our legal advisors to give us our opinion that we will present when the time comes. Throughout this tenor of this memorial of understanding we have had a cordial relationship with the Minister and that is why the KHMHA Workers Union wanted this meeting to thank him, to thank him for being instrumental in the creation of the KHMHA Workers Union that is now the sole bargaining agent for the employees of Karl Heusner. The best option is to seek a court decision.”
According to the union President, Lidia Blake, while they have met with the Health Minister, they are yet to get a response to their letter sent to CEO Hoare.
Lidia Blake – President of KHMHA Workers Union: “The point on the letter was specific on the pension issue, on the pension that we needed clarification on where we stood concerning the pension, there and that was on the pension issue. We will write a letter to the board now and then we will see clarification and answers from there.”
If it is decided that the workers are not pensionable, they have the Provident Fund to fall back on where the workers pay three percent of their salary into the fund while the hospital pays four percent. It was the union’s plan to wind up the Provident Fund and divide it accordingly whilst embarking on their new pension scheme. The story continues to develop and we will keep following its progress.