Finally some nurses have mustered enough courage to bring hospitals to court for violations of labor and nursing laws.
Multiple nurses have filed cases against four tertiary hospitals at the Department of Labor and Employment – National Labor Relations Commission (DOLE – NLRC) on Feb 21 and March 1, 2017.
Nurses sought the help of Ang Nars Party-list through its Legal Assistance Program after hearing about nursing group’s campaign to end all forms of false volunteerism, false trainings, contractualization, job order, and other types of precarious work of these hospitals.
Ang Nars exposed these unlawful practices to the DOLE, which pushed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to create a group that investigates the reports that thousands of graduate nurses are paying hospitals up to P10,000 and working for months without salaries under the guise of “training” to have a higher chance of being employed as a regular staff and obtain job experience.
DOLE AO No. 231 Series of 2016 was reconstituted to AO No. 231- B to conduct Special Assessment or Visit of Establishment of hospitals and medical institutions to assess, validate and verify compliance with general labor standards (GLS), occupational safety and health standards, and other pertinent labor laws and social legislations.
Dr. Leah S. Paquiz of ANG NARS was deputized as representative of Sec. Bello in the AO 231-B.
Here are the specifics of the cases filed by the nurses:
FALSE VOLUNTEERISM AND FALSE TRAININGS: Unpaid Salary, Non-regularization, Unpaid Overtime, Unpaid 13th Month Pay, Compensation for Medical Coverage due to exposure to HIV.
CONTRACTUALIZATION: Illegal dismissal, Non-regularization, Unpaid overtime, Unpaid Night Shift, Unpaid benefits.
Ang Nars is continually urging nurses and other health workers who have experienced these forms of exploitation to speak up and file cases against hospitals and other employers who commit these violations.