Friday, February 04, 2005

TGWU accuse Nursing Section of “anti democratic onslaught"

The TGWU yesterday reiterated its criticism on “some members of the Nursing Section” after what it described as “their unfounded and anti-democratic onslaught.”

In a statement issued yesterday Branch Officer Charles Sisarello said that the statement by the Nursing Section on the reasons for their resignation “does a disservice to the members they represent and to the trade union movement as a whole.”

Meanwhile the Union has also revealed that a petition calling for the removal of the Nursing Section signed by nurses had been sent to Transport House. The Nursing Section Committee is also accused of “stabbing trade union officials in the back” while Mr Sisarello urges them to “maintain the balance” between the welfare of patients and the terms and conditions of staff.

Mr Sisarello said:

It is a sad day for the Union when representatives who fail the members they are supposed to defend, instead of analysing why members they represent are critical of the service provided, tries to divert the attention by blaming their own members who according to the committee are being politically manipulated by a political party, the trade union, the GHA management etc for their decision to resign. The truth of the matter is that the only reason that has led to the resignation is the fact that the vast majority of the nursing grades have lost all confidence in the Nursing Section. They had two choices, either to resign or be removed from office.

They have failed according to ACTS members of the nursing grades, because among other things they have not kept the nurses fully informed of the outcome of the different meetings which they have attended. The trade union officials have never surrendered their duties and functions, on the contrary we are fully engaged in our task of defending the interest of our members.

The Union always engages the representatives in all meetings when we negotiate, and then we consult our members for a decision. We have never agreed anything behind the back of members – the record shows that this has never been the case. The duty and responsibility of trade union officials is to engage employers and Government into a process of negotiations were the shop stewards and representatives will be fully participating. This has always been done with Sir Joshua Hassan, with Joe Bossano and with the current administration, and not only locally but internationally, that is the role of the Union leadership.

We totally reject the false allegations that trade union officials shape and conduct the process of negotiation. Our function is to establish a negotiating machinery so that issues and claims are negotiated with the participation of shop stewards and union representatives, and then the last word rests with the members. Trade union officials have never entered into any agreement without the consent of the members affected. The insinuation of the Nursing Section Committee can only be described as untrue. In their case they have been engaged from the beginning to the present time. The negotiations have not yet finalised as the question of retrospection will be discussed with the view of reaching a satisfactory settlement.

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