13th November 2017 – The Minister for Health met with the Nurses Association Republic of Seychelles (NARS) on Thursday 9th November 2017, to further discuss terms of the proposed scheme of service for nurses and midwives.
Opening the meeting, Minister Adam expressed appreciation of 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, Mrs Rosie Bistoquet who thanked the Ministry for taking the discussion further by inviting them to once more discuss the proposals. “We get to discuss the scheme and the weakness that we’ve picked out, in the common interest of advancing the nursing profession,” Mrs Bistoquet said.
The new 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, Midwives and Health care assistants will be rolled out. For nurses, the main improvements for 2018, include a SCR 3,000 retention allowance.
Minister Adam clarified that the intention is to have the allowance incorporated within the basic pay for nurses. “This step is to be done as an allowance until the assessment of nurses’ responsibilities and duties have been completed in line with work being undertaken with 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 have been reassured that it will be done once the review is complete. This will be towards the end of 2018.
Other points of concern was 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, including allowances which are regular and not variable in nature. The whole package include the basic salary, marketable skills allowance, inducement allowance and retention allowance.
Improvements planned for 1st January 2018, will give nurses a starting package of SCR 13,000 when their regular allowances are calculated together. Minister Adam also confirmed that nurses’ pension will also be calculated on the total of the regular pay and regular allowances.
Another advantage within the new scheme meant to take effect in 2018, is a revised gratuity system whereby nurses will receive 10% of their total salary over 5 years.
Minister Adam also highlighted several of the changes brought up in nurses meeting held over the past few weeks. These include improvements in the rates payable for un-rostered overtime and the development of 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.