PNA supports UST hospital nurses vs ‘unjust practices’

Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), the accredited professional organization of nurses, expressed its support for nurses and other union members who fight against allegedly ‘unjust practices’ of UST hospital management.

Ugnayang Nagkakaisang Manggagawa-University of Sto. Tomas Hospital (UNM-USTH) complained that nurses and other healthcare workers are grappling with poor working conditions in the hospital.

UNM-USTH is a union of nurses, medical technologists, laboratory technicians and other staff at the UST Hospital.

The union has cited the following unjust labor practices:

  • Forced overtime of employees
  • Inadequate staffing in the ward/unit
  • Paid volunteerism
  • Contractualization
  • Using ‘transfer to a different ward’ as an indirect sanction to remove a staff they don’t like in an area
  • Nurse shaming
  • Inadequate wages and non-monetary benefits.

“The unjust labor practices have become an everyday scenario that has slowly affected the way they work and their life outside of work,” said UNM-USTH in a statement.

[Related: Nurses complained of poor working conditions in UST Hospital]

In its own statement, PNA urged the management to ‘give nurses and other health care professionals what is due them.’

PNA believes that the union cannot be faulted for utilizing other lawful means such as strike because the USTH management has become unresponsive to their employees’concerns.

Here’s the full statement of PNA:

PNA Position of Support for UST Hospital Nurses and the UNM

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) expresses its support for the collective efforts of the Ugnayang Nagkakaisang Manggagawa-UST Hospital Union (UNM-USTH) in its struggle for the betterment of the nurses’ welfare. Likewise, it condemns, to the highest degree, any form of unlawful concerted means to coerce the employees to accept an otherwise unfair proposition in the bargaining processes.

It has always been the position of the PNA to promote the welfare of Filipino nurses. Consistent with this mission, the PNA has been closely working with various labor sectors where the nurses’ concerns are the primary focus. The PNA is of the position that nurses can be management’s honest and effective partners in achieving the hospital, objectives. PNA IS NOT ANTI-MANAGEMENT. BUT IT DOES STAND FOR WHAT IS FAIR AND JUST.

PNA believes it has the compelling obligation to help the UNM-USTH achieve its position in the present bargaining process. The PNA’s stand always consistent with what is just — give the nurses and other health care professionals what is due them. Achieving this would mean even resorting to extreme legal solutions, if only to protect their rights. Undoubtedly, PNA agrees with UNM-USTH that the latter has exerted all efforts to bring all issues to the bargaining table where negotiation, discussion, and consensus-building should prevail. However. UNM-USTH cannot be faulted for utilizing other lawful means, i.e. strike, because management itself has become
unresponsive to their employees’ concerns. PNA agrees that this solution undertaken by UNM-USTH is acceptable, just and moral.

Workers’ rights are considered human rights. Accordingly, the right to pray for better working conditions, security of tenure, and decent wages, among others, should not be seen as counterpoint to progress. In fact, the ideals economic growth, social justice and human development can be best achieved if management sees workers as its partners especially in advancing the management goal of upholding patients’ rights to safe and quality care.

Beyond any shadow of doubt, PNA believes that UNM-USTH is on the right path as it chooses freedom over oppression and justice over marginalization. It is time that its efforts must be appreciated as it vows to protect workers’ rights, no matter what the cost. This is the ultimate test of conviction, and we in the PNA are glad that his idealism is shared UNM-USTH.

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