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KHMH – Staff Walk-Out

KHMH – Staff Walk-Out
July 12
20:08 2019

Friday, 12 July 2019

This evening members of KHMH staff from all categories, along with the Executive of the KHMH Workers Union, walked out of the hospital during a meeting and gathered in front of the building for half an hour. They did so in direct protest of an ongoing controversy over pension payments.

Tonight, Secretary of the KHMH Workers Union, Romilio Castañeda, told the Reporter that the essential services of the facility were not disrupted, since those who walked out had gotten permission to attend the meeting, and included staff members who were off-shift. He also confirmed that the next step is a meeting with Minister of Health Pablo Marin in Belmopan on Monday, where discussions will include not only the pension issue but other pressing matters.

The primary concern for the Union remains the question of whether KHMH staff members are considered public officers and are eligible for pensions. The CEO and KHMH Board of Governors, based on a series of legal opinions, have determined that they are not. The Union, however, has gotten their own legal opinions which say that staff are eligible for pensions, and are insisting that the matter be taken out of the realm of legal opinions, and to the Cabinet or the Court for final clarity.

Castañeda says that the staff believes that since they are obliged to deal with referrals from other regional hospitals, and the staff of those regional hospitals are all eligible for pension, then the staff at the KHMH should also receive that consideration.

This evening a source from the Ministry of Health maintained that the staff at the KHMH are directly governed by the KHMH Authority, a Statutory Body, and as such they do not come under the public service – whether for payment, pension benefits or discipline.

The Reporter will have an update next week, following the meeting of the Union and the Minister.

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