Ministry of Health hosts discussion on new scheme of service with Nars


14-November-2017

The Minister for Health met the Nurses Association of the Republic of Seychelles (Nars) last Thursday to further discuss terms of the proposed scheme of service for nurses and midwives.

Opening the meeting, Minister Adam expressed appreciation to the association for working with the Ministry of Health to give appropriate recognition to the nurses and midwives who are the bedrock of the health system through their submissions in July 2017.

“There are several advantages that are already planned in the budget 2018,” Minister Adam said. “We want to continue to discuss with the nurses association and take them forward in future.”

This feeling of partnership was also affirmed by the chairperson of the association, Rosie Bistoquet, who thanked the minister for taking the discussion further by inviting them to once more discuss the proposals.

“We get to discuss the scheme and the weaknesses that we’ve picked in the common interest of advancing the nursing profession,” Mrs Bistoquet said.

It was highlighted that the scheme of service for nurses is part of an already proposed revision for all health workers. This is being phased over the next two years.  In 2018, the first phase for nurses and midwives and for health care assistants would be rolled out. For nurses, the main improvements for 2018 include a R3,000 retention allowance. 

Minister Adam clarified that the intention is to have the allowance incorporated within the basic pay of nurses.

“This step is to be done as an allowance until the assessment of nurses’ responsibilities and duties had been completed in line with work being undertaken with the WHO,” Minister Adam stated. 

“Providing the allowance in 2018 however means that nurses won’t have to wait until the review is complete to get an increment.” 

However the view from the opposite side of discussion insisted that this be included as part of the basic pay immediately. Though this is not yet possible according to standard human resources practices Nars has been reassured that this will be done once the review is complete. This will be towards the end of 2018. 

Other points of concern that came up in the discussions were the difficulty to get loans with a lower basic pay. Minister Adam clarified that when giving loans, banks take into consideration the whole package of nurses’ salaries including allowances which are regular and not variable in nature. These include the basic salary, marketable skills allowance, inducement allowance and retention allowance.

These improvements planned for January 1, 2018, will give nurses a starting package of R13,000 when this regular allowances are calculated together.  It was confirmed also that the pension was calculated on the total of the regular pay and regular allowances.

The other advantages that will take effect in 2018 is the new gratuity system whereby nurses will receive 10% of their total salary over the last 5 years.

Minister Adam also highlighted several of the changes brought up in nurses meeting including changes to improvements in the rates payable for un-rostered overtime and, develop a performance incentive based system to better reward good performance and ensure also a higher quality of service to the public.

Following the meeting, it was agreed that further discussions on outstanding issues relating to inducement allowances, risk allowances, and marketable skills allowances will be addressed with Nars in an agreed quarterly meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

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