ST MARY, Jamaica — Member of Parliament for Southeast St Mary Dr Winston Green says his office has received reports of the and non renewal of contracts and dismissal of workers aligned to the People’s National Party (PNP) at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St Mary.
Green’s constituency office, in a release this afternoon, said that the issue which dates as far back as mid-last year now totals seven individuals with varying lengths of contracts. Green’s office said that the most recent ones were placed on contract break in February of this year and were told to return to work on Wednesday March 8, but were unable to do so.
He said that the workers were contacted by phone on March 7, only a day before the scheduled resumption, only to be informed that their contracts would not be renewed.
“Was there a legitimate reason for this? That’s a question that still has been unanswered, yet their positions were all filled by persons deemed to be supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP),”Green argued.
The office added that the workers that were not reinstated are described as being hardworking, and even dedicated a lot of overtime hours to assist with work that needed to be done and as a result they are feeling cheated and say their only crime was the political party they support.
“One of these workers expressed her disgust about having to lose her sole source of earning at a time when her husband has become ill and bed-ridden (he subsequently died in recent days). She noted that this was blatantly unfair and disrespectful to the hard work she had invested in the hospital in the town she resides,” Green said
He alleged that JLP caretaker and deputy chairman of the hospital board, Dr Norman Dunn is “the JLP activist who drives this insidious act of victimization. He recommends who goes and who replaces them”.
“We are sitting on a powder keg,” Green said, adding that he has been appealing to people to remain calm but he was not sure how long he will be able to do so as the situation is incendiary.
Green said he has written to the Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton and the hospital board requesting a meeting to look into the matter but, so far, no time has been assigned for such a meeting.
“This is not ‘bulo’ work to put money in supporter’s hands. This is an institution that was built from foundation, not only by the government but also by stakeholders including the staff over the years. It’s one of the pride of Annotto Bay and is protected zealously by its residents. We will not allow political victimization to cause our hospital to become a less noble institution,” said Green