GMA’s compulsory arbitration meeting adjourns to Wednesday

The compulsory arbitration process by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), which began on Monday will be reconvened on Wednesday, October 27.

This was after the Committee of Arbitration Panel set up by the National Labour Commission (NLC) to sit in the case set the laid down rules for all representatives of the parties involved.

The meeting, which should have started at 1400 hours at the office of the NLC by the representatives of the GMA and the FWSC together with their lawyers, started at 1445 hours and lasted for one and half hours.

Both parties after the meeting came out tight lipped and would not speak to the media except for the Public Affairs Director of the NLC, who disclosed that the meeting would reconvene on Wednesday, October 27.

“For now, that is all that we can say and you are all invited if you want to”, he added.

In an earlier interview with the Ghana News Agency, the Vice President of the GMA, Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei said it was likely the compulsory arbitration process might be undermined by the law suit filed against the Association.

The law suit filed by the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Health, which would have its second appearance in court on October 25, is seeking to compel the GMA to call off the strike.

He explained that calling off the strike while the case was yet to be determined by the court, might amount to violating the processes at the High Court, therefore it would be proper to wait for the settlement of the suit by the NGOs in Health.

A three-member representative of the employers of the GMA, who were present, were not allowed to sit in the meeting.

The doctors started the strike on October 7, complaining of distortions in the grading structures of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), issues of unscientific determination of market premium and inducement by the FWSC.

Other concerns raised were the inability of the FWSC to provide unequivocal evidence of migration of doctors onto the SSSS and the ambiguous stance of the SSS Secretariat on the positions of District Directors of Health Service and Medical Superintendents.

The inability of the GMA and the FWSC to agree in solving the issues compelled the FWSC to refer the issue to NLC to apply the compulsory arbitration as provided for under Section 162 of the Labour Act to resolve the dispute.

Five bodies – the Council of State, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health NLC, the FWSC and religious organisations that met with the GMA to find a solution to the dispute yielded no positive results, hence, the use of the compulsory arbitration.

Source: GNA

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