by Earl J Maitland
Political Leader, Grenada Empowerment Movement
Grenada Empowerment Movement (GEM) observes the “Salute by Sound” request made by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) which is notably supported by the Ministry of Health and Covid-19 task force.
GEM commends the ministry for finally acknowledging the importance of our healthcare sector. However, we remind the government that its role is more fundamental than endorsing salutes. GEM is cognisant of the many restrictions of our citizens who are unable to express, as they would like, their gratitude for essential and front-line workers due to a diversity of circumstance.
For this reason, our organisation finds the gesture of “Salute by Sound” appropriate on a citizenry level. Nevertheless, we must not eliminate the governmental perspective; our country can afford more pivotal expressions of appreciation to said workers on a governmental level. It is a fact that essential and front-line workers are not only worthy of our applause by sound but additionally by relief of contractual employment. They have yet again proven to be deserving of appointments of permanent position at their respective workplaces. Consequently, GEM implores the Grenadian government to exercise its authoritative ability to even further reflect and impressively project the gratitude of our country; award said workers permanency.
We encourage the relevant authorities to refer to 29(5) of the Grenada Employment Act which states:
“29. Types of contracts.
Where the purpose or effect of a contract that is purportedly for a specified period of time or for a specific task is the filling on a lasting basis of a post connected with the normal and permanent activity of the undertaking, establishment or service, it shall be deemed to be a contract for an unspecified period of time.”
Over the past 2 years, we lost well over 100 medical workers who migrated due to poor work conditions; inclusive of minimal or absence of medical items and equipment. We are now at a juncture where duty proves to be relevant and the expectancy of proper medical facilities and hospitals are indisputably justifiable. We simply can neither afford to lose more medical staff due to lack of incentive and character assassination nor can we efficiently serve our nation when there is negligence to prioritise the health sector. Undoubtedly the occurrence of such an event will only result in the immense destruction of our country.
As a country let us not terminate efforts to recognise the healthcare sector by sound ovation but also implement obligatory change in the present modus operandi to efficiently facilitate staff and patients alike; including but not limited to quantity and quality of medical equipment and instruments, independent quarantine facilities, adequate staffing. To purposefully identify GEM’s conviction of proposed actions to be taken by the Grenadian government, we ask each reader to consider the significant periods, our state has witnessed the trials of our medical staff and patients likewise. Nonetheless, our unfortunate encounter with Covid-19.
GEM takes this opportunity to not only thank essential and frontline workers but also each citizen who continues to take up the patriotic and humane role to be his/her brother’s keeper. To give is a gift that we must continue to love. We commend you all as you continue to provide various types of support, be it grocery, monetary, transportation and or emotional. Continue to do God’s work. We thank you greatly.
May God continue to bless Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.