- Scores of Lindeners left unemployed
Embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) Rudy Small, is now facing criticism for terminating the services of several long-standing contractors after mere weeks of his appointment. In December, the CEO came under heavy criticism for terminating the contract of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, that served the hospital for over three decades. This move saw several Nursing Members, many of whom served the organization for over two decades, left without a job.
In addition to the St John’s Brigade, the Forrester Security Service, that was contracted for many years to provide security services, also had its services abruptly terminated. The contract was given to Modern Security Service (MSS).
In addition, Double Team Taxi Service, one of Linden’s household Taxi Services, that has been providing transportation services to LHC for over three decades, was also cut off without explanation. This was relayed by manager of Double Team, Yvette Dublin, who said she was not officially written about the contract being terminated by the CEO but was told by nurses that they were notified by Management to not contact Double Team for any transportation duties. “I have not been given any job and I use to get jobs at least once a week…………I have been providing this service since 1991 and at that time I took over from my brother,” Dublin said.
In addition to transporting nurses after duties, Dublin said she also transported staff and meals to the COVID-19 Isolation Facility, which is currently being housed at the Upper Demerara Hospital. She said that contract would have ended in August 2021, but she was officially informed by management, that the contract was terminated. “They just told me as of today, they won’t be using me anymore,” Dublin said, when asked what reason was given.
Another long-standing contractor who was cut off is Mr. Corbet Benjamin, who has been providing mechanical services to the hospital for over 20 years. Benjamin told INFO 10, that he was called in for a meeting with the CEO and the administrator and complaints of him producing sloppy work were made. He said he was surprised by these complaints because he has been serving the hospital for over two decades and has been providing a good service. What caught his surprise he said, was the disposition of the CEO who was yelling to the top of his voice. “With him being boisterous, he had the door open and was at the top of his voice. It was the worst I have seen in the history of professionalism. I however maintained my disposition and did not retaliate in the same way because I am a Minister of Christ,” he related.
Benjamin said he was told that vehicles continue to experience mechanical problems, two or three days after leaving his workshop. He tried to explain to the CEO that the vehicles are often travelling on rough terrain and it is expected that they will encounter problems. The veteran mechanic said the CEO then switched the conversation to one particular vehicle when he explained to him the mechanical issue of the vehicle and that he tried his utmost to conquer the problem. “I stand by my work, I always took pride in doing good work and in all the 20 years plus I worked with the hospital, I never had these problems,” Benjamin related. The CEO then rudely informed him that the contract will be taken away from him. This media house was reliably informed that the contract was given to an affiliate of the CEO. Efforts to contact the CEO for a response, proved futile.
Nurses continue to protest for the removal of Small after he made distasteful comments about them during an interview with a blogger. Despite calls by the Ministry of Health to end the industrial action, to pave the way for negotiation, the nurses remain adamant that they will continue to protest until Small is removed. Daily they march the streets of Linden with placards chanting, “Rudy in Charge, Hospital run down”. The nurses are claiming that it is not only about the comment he made, but about his unprofessional attitude and his disposition toward them, especially the way he speaks. They are also concerned about this management skills, since the hospital has seen a significant shortage of drugs since his appointment.
The nurses voiced these concerns to the Prime Minister (Ret’d)Brigadier Mark Phillips and Minister of Works Juan Edghill at a meeting last Wednesday. “It is not a comfortable working environment and no one in their righted sense would want to work under someone who is rude and uncouth. He doesn’t know how to speak to people, he doesn’t know how to address people and we cannot go back to that, that is not what we are accustomed to and we will remain resolute until he is gone,” one administrative staff told INFO 10.