24 Aug 2007

Fiji nurse's association says stress is killing some of its members

10:14 am on 24 August 2007

The Fiji Nurses Association has warned its 1,400 members not to work overtime to avoid stress related diseases.

The association's general secretary, Kuini Lutua, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper the directive was issued this week after seven nurses died within six months this year.

Ms Lutua says the high mortality rate among nurses has forced the association to take action and address their fears.

She says there has been a dramatic increase in the mortality rate of nurses in the last three years because they work under stress for long hours, sometimes staying on the job for two consecutive shifts.

Meanwhile, Mrs Lutua has confirmed that the association has started legal action related to the grievances which led to their recent 16-day strike.

The issues in dispute are the 5% pay reduction, lowering of the retirement age and restoration of the Partnership Agreement which was signed by the previous government.

The nurses are also taking legal action against the interim minister for labour, Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau, for not referring their dispute to compulsory arbitration.