The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called for the immediate rectification of what it regards as distortions created by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC)in the process leading to the migration of its members onto the Single Spine Salary Structure.
It has threatened that it will embarked on a nationwide strike if the migration process was not completed by 7th October 2011, and therefore called on the FWSC, the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Presidency to take note.
Dr. Emmanuel Adom Winful, President of the GMA expressed the frustration of members of the Association at a press conference at the end of the 5th National Executive Council meeting in Tamale on Saturday.
The GMA said its members scored 792 points as against some staff of the Ghana Health Service who scored 667 and 669 but that the category of staff that scored lower than the GMA had been placed on a higher grade than medical officers, a distortion they did not understand.
“The Ghana Medical Association for almost two years in the spirit of negotiations has gone through all the processes needed for smooth implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure in the health sector with little success”, it said.
It said it had made extensive inputs into the grade structure of the SSSS based on scientific job evaluation and analysis as far back as December last year, and was therefore disappointed at the FWSC for such a distortion which it said had no bearing on the job evaluation done.
The GMA said it was optimistic that issues of the ‘market premium and inducement’ could be dealt with quickly to pave way for migration of doctors unto the single spine salary structure, adding that following several meetings and proposals, it was clear that the FWSC either did not believe in scientific and evidenced-based analysis or was deliberately stalling the process.
It added that doctors in the country were not enjoying the 20 per cent increment of salaries across board that was announced by the Government recently because it had not yet been migrated unto the new pay policy.
The GMA said doctors were being short-changed, causing a lot of concerns resulting in agitations, frustrations and low morale, especially in the light of the current economic realities.
“The National Executive Council of the Ghana Medical Association has decided that all issues concerning grading, market premium, inducement and other related matters should be concluded by close of day, 7th October, 2011”.
It added that the FWSC must show unequivocal evidence of the Association’s migration onto the SSSS by 7th October for payment to be effected at the end of October, including all arrears from January 2010, else it will instruct all doctors in the country to stop work and hold themselves in readiness for further instructions.
The GMA said it was committed to its job and did not want things to deteriorate to that level, hence the need for all stakeholders including Government to intervene to prevent such an occurrence.