26 Oct 2011

Samoa nurses threaten strike action over long awaited pay rise

2:31 pm on 26 October 2011

The Samoa opposition says the government should step in and tell the National Health Services Board to award a pay rise to nurses to avert a possible strike.

The Tautua Samoa Party says the funds for a pay rise were approved in parliament in July and the money is available.

A party member, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, says he's puzzled the Board hasn't actioned the pay rise which he believes was first approved four years ago.

"But then the pay rise for the nurses shouldn't be delayed any longer. The problem we have is the shortage of doctors and nurses. I think the other areas of the national hospital so far can cope. But I think we really have to look after the interests of the nurses and the doctors."

Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi says if the pay rise hasn't been actioned by the end of the week close to 300 nurses will go on strike.

The Health Minister Tuitama Leao Dr TalaleleiTuitama says that health service is short of an estimated 70 doctors and about 200 nurses.