THE more than 6000-member National Workers Union is calling on the Government of Saint Lucia to move quickly to establish a national health programme to take care of its members, organized labour, NIC contributors and pensioners.
The call comes via a letter to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet by the union’s President General, Tyrone Maynard who was moved to bring the government’s attention to the health situation in the country by a resolution passed at this year’s NWU Annual Congress of Delegates 11 days ago, and meetings with the Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary in the first quarter of this year.
It was at these meetings earlier this year that the NWU conveyed its concerns to government to implement a national health care service.
“We are now in November with very little evidence to demonstrate your government’s willingness to move in that direction,” Maynard wrote in his letter to Prime Minister Chastanet dated November 7, 2019.
“We hereby demand that your government puts the ‘Latin Lettuce issue’ on the back burner and move swiftly to establish a much-needed national health programme that would initially take care of NWU members, organized labour and NIC contributors. The programme could be improved as we go along,” the letter to Chastanet read in part.
Maynard thanked the prime minister for his presence and participation at this year’s Annual Congress of Delegates and noted that prior to the Congress the NWU held consultations with its branch members who placed the country’s medical health situation high on their agenda.
“It is a fact that our health care service is expensive. Some of our members can ill afford to purchase all items in the prescription after meeting the cost of the diagnosis and some of the medication prescribed. In some cases, barbecues, donations and other small social events are often organized to assist those who are in need of assistance to meet their medical expenses,” Maynard wrote in the letter to the prime minister.
The VOICE has learned that to date there has been no response from the prime minister to Maynard’s letter.
Delegates at their conference threw their full support and approval to any initiative that would bring about the execution of a health care programme for workers of this country and the wider Saint Lucia populace.
This resolution was the second of two that was voted on and approved by the Congress of Delegates, which is the highest decision-making organ within the NWU’s structure.
The second was for members to benefit from a Justice of the Peace Services Clinic to be executed by the Union.
This Justice of the Peace Services Clinic will commence in January 2020 and will be of four hours duration each Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and will be held at the new NWU Headquarters in Unity House, Maurice Mason Avenue, Sans Souci, Castries.
Members who need to access the service have been asked to present their NWU Membership Discount Card.