Vaiola Hospital Staff unpaid overtime work uncertain

Staff at Tonga’s main hospital who worked overtime within the period from July to October, have not received any wages for the work they claimed they were called in to do.

The Ministry of Finance in Tonga has not yet decided whether it will pay the overtime wages for the staff or not.

Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola the Health Director, according to sources, admitted the staff have not been paid yet.

The complainants claimed the authorities at Vaiola Hospital knew very well it did not have the budget to pay them to work extra hours, but they still called them to work overtime.

Dr 'Akau'ola conceded that there was shortage in the budget allocated for the overtime wages by the ministry.

He said an expert from Australia had reviewed the ministry’s overtime rate and entitlements.  

Following the review, Dr 'Akau'ola said a report has just been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration, for them to make decision regarding the staff’s overtime payments.  

The complainants were mainly employees at the lab, transport operators, dispensary and at the dental department.

Speaking to the media on condition of anonymity because of fear of career blight, the staff raised the matter earlier in September, but still the hospital authorities called them up in October to do overtime jobs.

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