Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Worker Boycott Disrupts Health Services In Solomons
300 workers allegedly still unpaid for arts festival services

By Jennifer Kakai

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 12, 2012) – The Solomon Islands public has encountered health service disruptions in most clinics in Honiara City over the weekend.

The disruption of services resulted from the Government's failure to pay the duty allowances of 300 plus health workers who took part the in recent Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA).

Government through the Ministry of Health and medical Services (MHMS) has promised to pay the more than SB$1 million [US$135,100] demanded by the workers last week on Thursday 6 but failed to do so.

Chairman of the FOPA health subcommittee Dr. Aaron Oritaimae said since not all workers received their allowances, workers who did not received their allowances decided to boycott their duties as of Friday last week.

Mr. Oritaimai said public will expect disruption of health services as majority of the workers involved are in the sit in protest.

He said it is sad for public to suffer unnecessarily however workers decided to boycott their duties since Government failed to its promised twice.

"We are working hard with the ministry of health and payroll office, to rectify the situation, so that the public does not suffer unnecessarily."

Permanent Secretary of MHMS Lester Ross when contacted said payment was done to some workers whose names were on the list received by the payroll section which was forwarded to the ministry of finance.

Mr. Ross said he understands that more than 90 workers received their allowances.

He said he do not blame workers for boycotting their duties thus his ministry is working hard to ensure the demand is paid by December 20.

"Our salary section is working to make sure all things are ready this week."

"We understand the workers are frustrated and that is why we are working hard to meet their demand," the PS added.

Solomon Star
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