Saturday 19 September, 2020

Deyalsingh says '100 percent' turnout of health care workers

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said there was 100 percent, and in some cases over 100 percent turnout of health care workers on Friday's day of 'rest and reflection', after trade unions called on members to stay away from work. 

In a statement issued Friday, Deyalsingh thanked healthcare workers for coming out to work.

"As your Minister of Health, I have had the privilege of working with and engaging our public healthcare workers, who have always demonstrated courage, commitment, professionalism and dedication to duty, as evidenced by their heroic efforts post the earthquake crisis.

"Today, I am pleased to report that we have a hundred percent and in some cases, over a hundred percent of our healthcare workers reporting for duty."

"Last week I informed our citizens that our healthcare workers have earned the respect of a grateful nation. Today, not only have they earned our renewed respect, but they have also earned our eternal gratitude and trust."

"You will agree that our healthcare workers have earned the honour of having their new tagline “Patients First.”"

"On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I wish to thank all health care workers for their continued loyalty, commitment to duty and for always putting their patients," he said. 

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers' Association (TTUTA), Oilfield Workers' Trade Union (OWTU), Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM), National Trade Union Centre of Trinidad and Tobago (NATUC), Public Services Association (PSA) and other trade unions urged their members to 'rest and reflect' on September 7 to bring attention to various issues. 

Trade unions said the event had been scheduled since Labour Day but gained momentum after Petrotrin's announcement to shut down its refinery, leading to 1,700 in job losses and affecting 800 more workers. 

Education Minister Anthony Garcia said there was a 50 percent turnout of teachers on Friday, which he said was considered 'acceptable' given the call by TTUTA for all members to stay away. 

Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan, tweeted that all transportation systems under his Ministry's purview were up and running.

Minister of Public Administration, Marlene McDonald, said there was 98 percent attendance at the Ministries of Public Administration and Communications and said similar numbers were recorded across the public service. 

She congratulated public officers for showing 'commitment and dedication to service'.

Under the Industrial Relations Act workers employed in 'essential services' can be fined or imprisoned for taking part in industrial action.

The Act lists essential services such as electricity services, water and sewerage services, fire service, health services, hospital services, sanitation services (including scavenging), oil, gas and petrochemicals, port operations, sugar cultivation, communications, public transport, civil aviation, and the iron and steel industry.


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