Govt makes U-turn on imposition

first_imgDoctors’ gratuity to pensionMedical doctors currently employed in the public health system on contracts will not be forced under the pension system, but will have the option of switching if they so desire.This was the outcome of a consultation held at the National Cultural Centre on Monday that saw a large group of doctors in attendance.Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, who was present for that meeting, assured the medical doctors that the transition would not affect their current plans.The Minister said while her portfolio was new, it was no excuse for her to not ensure that matters arising from the health sector were resolved amicably.Lawrence also vowed to continue dialogue with doctors to ensure that their concerns were taken into consideration before any decision was made in the future.She claimed that there were certain misconceptions about the pension plan for doctors, and blamed poor communication for the issue.“I will have a meeting with the heads to ascertain how can you not share information of such important nature which affects people’s lives? I mean it’s unacceptable and so, as the Minister, the buck stops with me,” Lawrence said.Doctors were initially told that their contracts would automatically end and they would be switched over to the permanent public service employment package, which also includes a pension scheme.Leading most of the discussions was Permanent Secretary in the Public Health Ministry, Reginald Brotherson, who was criticised for most of his responses to the many questions he was asked.The doctors believed that Brotherson was not clear and one doctor even labelled his response “political”.However, he told the concerned medical practitioners that they would be able to decide whether they wanted to join the public service and the pension’s scheme at the end of their five-year contract.He also took the opportunity to clarify with the doctors some of the advantages of joining the public service.The Permanent Secretary admitted that several circulars detailing the changes were dispatched to all heads of department. But it was only realised after their release that the time frame was too limited.While some of the doctors present at the meeting saw the circulars, others did not, but heard from their colleagues about the change and decided to raise their concerns with their seniors.Public Health Minister Volda LawrenceThey spoke about the last circular which was issued on February 7, 2017, which indicated that they would have been placed in the pension scheme within a month.One of the doctors who spoke out against the policy, Dr Adoni Benjamin told officials that he felt disrespected by the Government, because the change in his working arrangements would ultimately affect his family too.“First of all, as human beings, some courtesy should have been extended to us,” he stated.Another doctor, who spoke with Guyana Times on the sidelines of the meeting, expressed deep concern over the move, claiming that a proper explanation was not provided.The young Cuba-trained doctor who requested anonymity claimed that when the first circular was issued, some of his colleagues decided to sign contracts to join the public service.“They did so out of fear that their salary will be withheld, or they would have been sent home. Some of them were tricked to go over, because some of them did sign.”The doctor said while he was happy that the Government has backpedalled on its decision, this issue could have been avoided if consultations were held first.The affected doctors also raised concerns about the measly $1800 which they are paid for on-call duties, with no overtime or benefits such as time-and-a-half pay.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had said that forcing doctors to accept the unpopular pension scheme meant the physicians would exit the public service.The Government had made a commitment to meet with the doctors at another date, to discuss the finer details of the arrangement to have them transitioned to the public sector pension scheme.last_img read more

Shock as parish clean-up reveals nine dead animals

first_imgMembers of the community involved in the Fanad Clean Up Day have expressed their horror and disgust at finding a number of dead animals along a number of roads.In all nine animals were discovered including five calves, three ewes and a dog.Adding to the shock was that a number of children were involved at a particularly obnoxious site where recently dumped sheep carcasses and some of the rotting calves were discovered. On Tuesday the Council veterinary and road services along with an independent operator removed three sheep and two calves from very difficult terrain close to Mulroy Bay at Tullynadall.Martin Roarty, the Letterkenny area Litter Warden who supervised the operation said it was the most sickening experience of his time as a litter warden. He also confirmed that two mature calves had mysteriously disappeared from the site over the weekend.Mr. Roarty told the Tirconail Tribune that the dead calves had been dumped 25 feet off the roadside on steep and treacherous incline.However the undergrowth and trees could not conceal the stench coming from the location. It is located on a stretch of road with no occupied houses between Kindrum crossroads and the townland of Tullynadall, a distance of around one mile. A dead dog wrapped in polythene was discovered near Rossnakill on the road to Aughadreena while on the road between Massmount and Kindrum another dead calf was discovered.The Council’s litter services were not involved in disposing of these carcasses.There are unconfirmed reports of livestock losses across parts of Donegal with dumping of dead animals reported being seen along the cliff faces on the Knockalla Road and on the sea coast.A number of Fanad’s roads are not included in the clean-up day on the basis of safety: fast moving traffic and too many dangerous bends. One lady said she’d looked at some stretches of these routes and was shocked at the level of household dumping.There were eighty volunteers engaged in the Clean Up Day in Fanad with a number of schools also participating. Close to three tonnes of refuse was collected. However, there is much more evidence in locations that are too difficult to access. The extent of the refuse dumping is reflected on a half a kilometre of road outside Tamney where one family group collected seven large sacks of refuse including cans half filled with paint, a vast array of wine bottles, coffee cups and the debris from takeaway meals.On a quiet road near Aughadreena volunteers were shocked with the number of Tennent’s lager cans in one location…over a hundred in all on top of a huge volume of black refuse sacks bursting at the seams with waste materials.A spokeswoman for the Clean Up Campaign has spoken of their horror and revulsion of finding decaying calves and the dreadful smells. She said it was a traumatic day but nevertheless the community is committed to ensuring that the huge litter problem in the peninsula is cleared annually.The group has spoken of their horror at finding dead and decaying livestock and have appealed to those responsible to have more respect for the environment and their animals and to use the authorised services available. The remains of a dead calf which was also found.Litter Warden, Martin Roarty who had the task of climbing down the dangerous slope at Tullynadall to inspect the number of dead calves said he was horrified at what he saw and heard from the volunteers who found the carcasses in Fanad.“What was most worrying,” said Mr.Roarty is that there is ample evidence of bits of skeletons and bones to suggest that this has been a site for dead animals being disposed for a number of years. He said that the problem of litter remains a major one for everyone and detection on country roads where there are many unoccupied houses is causing a huge problem for the litter services.”An appeal has now gone out from the volunteers engaged in the clean-up for anyone with knowledge of ownership of the dead animals to contact the Gardai urgently.Martin Roarty says that these problems must be tackled and in most instances there is local knowledge and those dumping cattle are well acquainted with the localities involved.He said: “Like so many other community volunteers, the Fanad group does massive work in the clean-up of the parish and they had almost 80 people involved. They filled four massive skips and there are remote byroads that are not done because of the time factor involved. Certain people are using quiet back roads to dispose of household rubbish.Shock as parish clean-up reveals nine dead animals was last modified: April 29th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:animalscalvesdeaddonegalFanadhorsesvetlast_img read more