“We shall not be, we shall not be moved, just like a tree that planted by the water we shall not be moved” was the chant of members of the Public Workers Union (PWU).
The PWU staged two days of protest on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th from the entrance to the Botanical Gardens to the Town of St. George, sending a message of dissatisfaction with the way the government’s latest method of employing nurses to the public service.
The Grenada Informer caught up with the protesters on Thursday and interviewed the acting President of the PWU – Ms. Rachael Roberts. She explained that union members were protesting for their constitutional rights. She said public officers are appointed via the Constitution Section 84, 1 and 2. However, these rights are being violated because the government is now appointing persons through an agency, which is responsible for the development of small business; and not for appointment of public officers. She went on to say that employed persons should have their interests looked after by providing them with decent work rather than being treated as slaves, and as if employing them is some manner of humanitarian effort.
Ms. Roberts said nurses are considered to be essential persons and hence she asked the question “why are they treated in this manner”? She demanded that nurses be provided with decent work and their constitutional rights obeyed and respected.
She said the constitution empowers people to speak out if there is a need for change.
According to Miss Roberts, the PWU has sat at the table with government on numerous occasions and insisted that government discontinue its unconstitutional appointment. The union wants nurses to be properly appointed. They want appointment and proper employment for nurses or else public officers will continue to do what they have to, to ensure that the constitution is being upheld. Presently GRENCASE is the agency assigned to hire nurses.