The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) has engaged with the Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) on the issue of nurses’ shifts. In response to a letter dated 11th April 2020, from the Union to its members, which alleged that the PHA had unilaterally varied working conditions for nurses, the PHA in a letter to the Union dated 14th April, 2020, cited the enactment by the Government of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Orders and the declaration of a state of emergency.
The PHA noted that during this period of declared emergency, the Government and the Public Hospitals Authority will exercise emergency authority to ensure requisite staffing in all public health facilities.
The PHA, pursuant to Article 3.01 (1) and (4) of the Industrial Agreement between the PHA and BNU, exercises its right to rotate and assign nurses as needed to provide all necessary medical care. In its letter, the Union advised its members concerned to cease such shift changes immediately.
While the PHA recognizes the Industrial Agreement with the BNU, our efforts to fight the current COVID- 19 pandemic require a high degree of flexibility from all staff. Upon the withdrawal of Emergency Orders by the Government, nursing shifts will return to the pre-pandemic schedule.