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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

05 July 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

Pay Our Nurses!

Pay Our Nurses!

20/06/2023

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) stands in solidarity with nurses and midwives who are pleading with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) to be paid fairly for the work they do.

It has been several years now since nurses and midwives have had a pay increase and many are leaving the profession because their salaries have not changed, combined with the stress, fatigue and lack of compensation.

Additionally, the Fiji Nurses Association has highlighted that nurses are not receiving any allowances for working overtime. They have not received this since such allowances were stopped by the previous government. Now that there is an obvious shortage of nurses and midwives, they  are working for many more hours than their official shifts.

"FWRM has for so long advocated for equal pay for equal value of work and to continue to hear of grievances raised by nurses particularly about allowances and pay issues. This just means that there is still a lack of effort from the authorities to ensure that these undervalued workers are allocated allowances and paid what they deserve. It is also a profession that is predominantly made up of women and thus we are calling on the government to urgently address this issue of unequal allowances for nurses and midwives," FWRM Executive Director, Nalini Singh said.

In 2022, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) highlighted two reports on pay and gender, that concluded that nurses, who are predominantly female, are underpaid for their services, earning on average 24% less than men.

The nursing profession is predominantly made up of women and this historical ongoing issue of pay borders on the patriarchal attitudes of women at work as nursing is deemed as "women's work" and a feminised profession. Gender discrimination and challenges with decent work is still an issue for women in relation to the gender wage gap and equal pay for equal work.

FWRM urges the government and the Health Ministry to place more emphasis on the appropriate allowances and pay for nurses. Fair pay is critical towards retaining nurses who are in high demand in other countries.

"It is only right to give them what they deserve in acknowledgement of the services they provide, as it is in many other areas of employment," Ms. Singh said.

Ends

For media queries please contact FWRM Communications Officer Serelisoni Moceica on 8677 330 or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.