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Nurses' group airs frustration over ‘downgrading’ of nurses' ranks

Filipino Nurses United (FNU) on Saturday expressed their disagreement with some of the provisions of a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) circular that supposedly downgraded the ranks of government nurses.

The FNU said they "rejoiced" when 6,627 nurses with Nurse 1 positions benefitted from the wage increase from salary grade (SG) 11 (P22,316) to SG15 (P32,053) retroactive January 1, 2020.

But following its dialogue with DBM last September 1, 2020, FNU said they were "frustrated" with two "unjust" provisions of Budget Circular 2020-4 on the “Upgrading of the Entry Level of Nurse Positions.”

Citing the provision, FNU said job order (JO) and contract-of-service (COS) nurses were excluded from the Nurse I salary increase as they supposedly were not in an employee-employer relationship, according to the DBM.

Secondly, the provision modifying the position attributes showed demotion in ranks from Nurse II to Nurse VII, where Nurse II will become Nurse I with SG15, while the Nurse III to Nurse VII positions were downgraded to a rank a step lower , FNU said.

Meanwhile, the nurse VII position was dissolved as a result of the compression of nurse positions.

"Although there is no diminution in salary, there is a downgrading in rank that cause demoralization among nurses," the group said, as it sympathized with the 50,000 Nurse II to Nurse VII government nurses "whose numerous number of years, if not decades of government service will be discredited with the modification or reclassification of position attributes."

"FNU finds these provisions very unfair for it fails to honor the nurses’ years of hard work and length of service in the government," FNU added.

However, FNU said DBM Assistant Secretary Kim De Leon suggested the group coordinate with the Department of Health as this was the government agency that supervised the health and medical fields. — DVM, GMA News