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Here’s a list of what’s going on and news articles…

Check it out every day for important reminders and not-to-miss happenings, dates and deadlines!

SIGMA Now Offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)

Sigma College of Nursing and Applied Sciences
 has been approved by the Nursing Council of Jamaica to accept applicants for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing effective September 2011. 

The site for this programme is the Sigma College of Nursing campus in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, Jamaica.

SIGMA\'S BOOKSTORE

Sigma now provides an in-house bookstore, where students are able to purchase textbooks, stationary, print, photocopy and buy credit, all at their convenience.

Our bookstore is also available to students int he surrounding area.  We also specialize in sourcing textbooks and medical equipment, that is not available on the island, and at a competitive price. Contact us on (876) 917-7027 for further information.


News Articles


Nurses demand reclassification | Timetable, retroactive payments
Sunday, July 04, 2010

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The Nurses\\\\\\\' Association of Jamaica (NAJ) yesterday passed a resolution calling on the Government to immediately set a date to proceed with the reclassification of registered nurses, as outlined in a Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) ruling in January and for outstanding payments to be made to its members.
The resolution was passed at the NAJ\\\\\\\'s Council and Quarterly General meetings (in which was wrapped an emergency meeting) to address this and other issues facing the island\\\\\\\'s nurses.
The resolution was passed amid promises by the association of renewed pressure on the Bruce Golding-led administration to address the contentious issue, which has put it at odds with the nurses since 2007 when the Jamaica Labour Party came to power.
Following a lengthy hearing, the IDT in January, ruled that the State immediately set a date for the start of the reclassification process which would see an increase in wages and other benefits for the over 2,000 nurses.
The failure of the State to adhere to the ruling has forced NAJ members on more than one occasion to take industrial action, severely crippling activities at the island\\\\\\\'s public hospitals. As a result, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security was forced to obtain injunctions from the Supreme Court barring further industrial action, and ordering the nurses back to work. Both sides have been to the bargaining table on numerous occasions, but to no avail.
But yesterday the nurses promised to continue to press the Government until the matter is resolved.
"I move that the Government be guided by the IDT ruling dated January 2010, and immediately fix a date for the implementation of the reclassification of registered nurses and payment made to the registered nurses...," said the resolution that was moved by nurse Claudine Douglas and seconded by Florence O\\\\\\\'Connor.
A copy of the resolution will be sent to the relevant authorities.
The association did not say what action it would take, should the State ignore the resolution, but president Edith Allwood-Anderson said, during the meeting at the National Chest Hospital in St Andrew, that there would be no back-pedalling on the issue. The association has for the moment ruled out sick-outs because of the legal action taken by Labour Minister Pearnel Charles but Anderson said that nurses were undeterred.

"We will continue indefinitely until somebody listens," Allwood-Anderson said. "The nurses have no alternative now but to take a stand."

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Special buses for nurses
Monday, July 16, 2007

Some nurses working within the four Regional Health Authorities are to ride home in comfort, as The National Health Fund (NHF) has approved a grant of $13 million to purchase four 30-seat buses.

The safety of nursing staff on late shifts has been problematic and the Ministry of Health sought the support of the NHF to acquire these buses in order to transport and thereby improve the safety and well-being of nurses working on these shifts.

Edith Allwood-Anderson, president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), says "Nurses travel at diverse hours of the night getting to and from hospitals and this has been a challenging aspect of the job."

She expressed appreciation to the NHF. "The NAJ is therefore profoundly happy and we hope the buses will be designated \\\\\\\'The Nurse Bus\\\\\\\', to ensure that they will be available to transport nurses when needed and not diverted to other transportation duties in the health system."

Meanwhile, the NHF has approved a grant totalling $11.8 million for the National Council on Drug Abuse to fund the expansion of community clinics and services to meet the need for treatment, care and help for substance abusers and their families.

New clinics

The grant will be used to establish 10 specialised new clinics in selected communities, to teach both life and parenting skills to adolescents and parents, to hold family and group therapy sessions, among other things.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to facilitate a comprehensive approach to treatment and care to individuals and families at the community level. We anticipate far-reaching results and a long-lasting impact from the services that will be offered to members in several communities islandwide," said Michael Tucker, executive director of the National Council on Drug Abuse.

The communities that have been selected have little or no treatment and care facility in proximity or that is affordable to the most vulnerable in the community.

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NAJ president opposes privatisation of KPH: Nurses begin week of celebration

Monday, July 16, 2007

PRESIDENT of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Edith Allwood-Anderson says she will not support the privatisation of the Kingston Public Hospital - the largest public hospital in the Caribbean.

"The Kingston Public Hospital the philosophy, the mission and the vision is to supply Jamaica and the Caribbean and it doesn\\\\\\\'t matter who wants to privatise. KPH [will] remain public for all," Allwood-Anderson told journalists following a church service to mark the beginning of Nurses\\\\\\\' Week at Trinity Moravian Church in Kingston.

"It is over 200 years old and I have no doubt that the minister is saying the same thing like me and the government [too]. KPH is KPH," the NAJ president added, apparently suggesting that the minister may only be trying to get public opinion on the matter.

But Allwood-Anderson said any decision to privatise would have to be put to the Jamaican people.

On Saturday, Health Minister Horace Dalley said he was contemplating privatising KPH. "I am seriously thinking about putting KPH on its own, like the University Hospital, meaning it runs itself," the minister was quoted in yesterday\\\\\\\'s edition of the Sunday Observer.

As a private entity, the KPH would no longer depend on the government for the supply of drugs and other medical supplies, including equipment. The salaries of medical personnel employed to the KPH would also cease to be a responsibility of the government.

Nurses at the KPH and Victoria Jubilee Hospital walked off the job Thursday in protest over what they described as a critical shortage of medical supplies, including syringes and needles. Following a long meeting between officials from the health ministry and the NAJ, the hospitals received supplies.
Yesterday, Allwood-Anderson said the nurses were pleased and satisfied with the deliveries.

"I spoke with nurses at KPH, my directors, who are sworn to be honest, (and) nurses who are front liners, and they assured me that the supply they got of syringes should serve us maybe the rest of the year, and it will give time for other things to be put in place and other requests to be made. And also to meet any form of disaster that might meet us whether by way of election and also the hurricane season," said the NAJ president.

She said the shortage of supplies was generally confined to hospitals in the South East Regional Health Authority.
"All other regions had adequate (supplies); they didn\\\\\\\'t have a lot, but they were not at the critical and detrimental situation that KPH had and so they are also now being strengthened... But I am monitoring it," she said.

Principal finance officer at the Ministry of Health, Nigel Logan, who brought greeting on behalf of Health Minister Horace Dalley, said the ministry was committed to collaborating with the NAJ to provide improved patient care.

Nurses Week is being observed under the theme \\\\\\\'Positive practice environments: Quality workplaces equal quality patient care\\\\\\\', and coincides with the observance of the 61st anniversary of the NAJ. Other activities for the week include a prayer breakfast and the first ever Mary Seacole Lecture.

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Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) awaits new salary offer from Government
August 21, 2006

The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) is expected to know today if the Ministry of Finance and Planning has made any changes to its salary and fringe benefits offer.

"We are expecting to be sent a response from the Ministry of Finance through the Ministry of Labour tomorrow and based on that, a meeting will be conveyed on Wednesday," Edith Allwood-Anderson, president of the NAJ, said yesterday.

Asked if the NAJ was optimistic that it would get a favourable response from the Finance Ministry, Mrs. Allwood-Anderson said her association\\\\\\\'s executive members will peruse the document "and see what is taking place".

The organisation had given the Government until June 30 to complete a wage and fringe benefits settlement, promote nurses who have been acting in positions for more than six months and provide a scarcity allowance for them.

The Government had offered the nurses 22 per cent over two years for levels three and up, and 24 per cent over two years for levels one and two nurses.

However, the nurses are requesting an 80 per cent pay increase in the first year and 40 per cent in the second year.

Protest action

But a letter was sent to the NAJ last month, stating that the Government could not offer the nurses any increase beyond what was previously proposed.

As a result, scores of nurses protested and stayed off the job on two different occasions, causing major disruptions in the health sector. Hospitals were forced to cancel elective surgeries, some outpatient clinics were closed, and only dire emergency cases were seen.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security intervened in the wage negotiations between the NAJ and the Ministry of Finance. The nurses then agreed to go back to work and have since been meeting with the ministries of Labour and Finance on a weekly basis.

Earlier this year the NAJ withdrew its membership from the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) to negotiate for salaries and fringe benefits for nurses on its own. They were among at least four unions that did not sign the second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU2) between the Government and the JCTU.

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