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Nurses’ group calls for inclusion of contractual nurses in salary hike

A group of nurses on Tuesday called on the Department of Health (DOH) to recommend the inclusion of job order and contract of service nurses in the salary hike for entry-level government nurses.

During a virtual dialogue with Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an, Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said that while it welcomed the wage increase of Nurse 1 positions from salary grade (SG) 11 to SG 15, it lamented the unjust provisions of budget circular 2020-4.

FNU National Treasurer Jaymmee de Guzman said not all government nurses with Nurse 1 positions received the salary adjustment, which was retroactive January 1, 2020.

Under the circular's provision 4.3, nurses who were under job orders and contracts of service, as well as those categorized with “no employee-employer relationship,” were excluded from receiving the salary adjustment from SG 11 (P22,316) to SG 15 (P32,053) because they were not covered by Civil Service laws and rules, and thus not creditable as government workers.

“This argument is definitely unjust and exploitive. In reality, job order, contract of service, and other contractual nurses perform the same job functions as those nurses with regular or permanent work status,” De Guzman said.

FNU thus urged the DOH to recommend to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the conversion of job order and contract of service nurses into plantilla positions so that they will be absorbed as regular employees and thus be included in the salary upgrade.

It also urged the government to stop all forms of contractualization of nurses.

“Contractualization of nurses must be put to an end considering that nursing is vital and essential to the health industry,” de Guzman said.

Tong-an said the DOH will discuss the matter with the DBM when representatives from the two agencies meet on Friday.

Earlier, the FNU also called for an increase in the minimum wage and benefits of nurses working in the private sector, saying they also render the same service as colleagues in the public sector. — DVM, GMA News