Industrial actions suspended at maternity department / Rene Asmussen

Health Minister Chris Fearne tweeted that discussions held this morning with the Malta Union for Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) were successful in that industrial actions at the maternity department have been suspended.

This was also confirmed by the Union’s President Paul Pace, who explained that the system that is to be adopted now is better than ever before, as people who work with reduced hours can now choose to work 40 hours a week.

Earlier this morning, Pace told that a number of directives had been issued when the nurses’ roster that had been in use for 8 years was removed. He explained that the nurses complained that the roster should be restored, and that this was only restored for a couple of chosen people. He stressed that it had been weeks of asking that everyone be treated equally, but after feeling like it was all for naught, the directives were introduced.

After the meeting where the agreement was reached, Pace stated that although he is content to have arrived at a conclusion, he could not understand why it is that directives must be issued in order for decisions to be made in favour of workers. He explained that discussions had been ongoing for two months, but the decision was made a few weeks after the directives were issued.

‘It’s the ward’s policy that fathers get sent home after 8pm’

Mater Dei’s CEO Ivan Falzon as well as Pace confirmed that new fathers being asked to leave the ward after 8pm is policy.

This was explained after one of the MUMN directives that stated that visitation hours for partners are to be restricted between 10am and 8pm caused a heated online debate, particularly amongst couples who are close to becoming parents.

‘We didn’t tell nurses to stop washing babies’ – Pace 

Pace went on to explain the facts on another discussion on social media that arose in response to the issued directives. He explained that a lot of the public are not in the know regarding hospital protocols, and that the baby’s first wash is always given by the mother while the nurses observe. He said that this is a normal process to help mothers be prepared when back at home, alone.