Following clinical advice, the Government has announced that 39 permanent contracts have been offered to GHA and Elderly Residential Services staff members who were previously on fixed term or supply contracts.
Clinicians recommended that many GHA staff members on fixed-term contracts should be retained indefinitely due to their good professional records.
The Government says it has recently been engaged in positive and productive meetings with Unite the Union on the subject of staff contracts at the GHA.
Unite the Union, representing its many members employed at the GHA, has been working constructively with Government to keep the “wellbeing of both workers and patients as the highest priority.”
A joint statement from Number Six and Unite continued: “Seventeen permanent contracts have been offered to GHA staff members, including Consultants, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. It is particularly important to note that the GHA has retained Specialist Nurses on permanent contracts, including Registered Mental Nurses, Critical Care Nurses and Theatre Nurses. These permanent contracts provide job security for our valued staff members and ensure continuity of care for patients.
“Seven permanent contracts also have been offered to staff members of the Elderly Residential Services. In addition, all vacancies at the Catering Facility have been resolved and this includes the extension of 15 permanent contracts to general operative staff who had been employed on supply contracts.”
Minister for Health and Care, Neil F Costa, said: ‘Following clinical advice, I am delighted to announce the permanent employment of GHA staff members who had previously been on fixed term or supply contracts. After a series of positive and productive meetings with Unite the Union, I am confident that this will provide staff members with the job security they deserve. I would like to extend a special thanks to Victor Ochello, Regional Branch Officer to Unite and Marilyn Bramble, Unite Convener, who has assisted in all the negotiations with staff and manage- ment.”
Unite the Union GHA Convener, Marilyn Bramble, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to work productively with the Government to progress the interests of our members. I am confident that these permanent contracts will provide many of those who work hard to provide an essential service with the job security that they deserve. Unite understands and accepts that HM Government of Gibraltar has in place a detailed succession plan to train existing and additional Qualified Nurses for the specialisations required. The GHA at all times ensures high-quality and safe nursing care and staffing levels in any particular field of expertise. Unite understands HMGoG policy, in accordance with all relevant UK clinical guidelines, to attract and recruit individuals with links to the local community in order to safeguard these new and aspiring Qualified Nurses to train and progress into future jobs with the Gibraltar Health Authority, Elderly Residential Services and Care Agency. Unite is satisfied that it was able to draw a line in the sand and ensure that permanent contracts were made available for individuals who had already worked continuously for the GHA, for whom no suitably trained candidate has been identified.”