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OT hours for over three dozen nurses reportedly being investigated

Photo of LBJ Hospital sign

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoa News was contacted early last Friday by a disgruntled nurse claiming that her colleagues were about to "walk out" because they were upset that their overtime hours were not included in their paychecks that were issued that day.

Apparently the overtime hours for over three dozen nurses are reportedly being investigated.

However, if everything pans out, those nurses are expected to get their overtime paid on Tuesday (today).

A total of 38 nurses — from all different units at LBJ Medical Center — are affected.

 A source at the hospital told Samoa News that some nurses who were scheduled to work last Friday evening — upon hearing about the fiasco involving the unpaid overtime — called in sick.

An emergency meeting was held last Friday morning, where it was mentioned that the Hospital's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Human Resources Director will launch an investigation, to find out why these 38 nurses have so much overtime (40 hours).

A source says the Department of Labor will be contacted.

Samoa News understands that LBJ's Head of Nursing, Simamao Tuatoo had called a separate meeting with the nursing administration, and the group met with CFO Emau Amosa who, according to sources, had pointed the finger at CEO Faumuina John Taufete’e, who was not present during this particular meeting as he had already gone home.

Amosa is alleged to have said that he didn't approve any of the overtime, adding that he only does payroll, and has nothing to do with approving it.

Meanwhile, some nurses have shared their frustration with Samoa News, saying this isn't the first time this has happened. According to one nurse, there have been times when she's had to fight for her overtime hours — and they eventually pay it, although it isn't issued until the following paycheck.

The shortage of nurses has been a longstanding issue. Nurses generally work at least 60 hours per week, and each shift is 12-hours. It’s also noted that sometimes nurses work a full 24-hour shift when someone calls in sick.