Use structure to migrate doctors onto Single Spine Salary – NLC tells Fair Wages Commission

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has ruled that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) should use the grading structure agreed with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) at Dodowa in the migration of doctors onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

However, the commission referred the issue of the grading of district medical officers and medical superintendents to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for resolution, since the service administers the Act that established those positions.

In the case of market premium, the commission said the grade point of 0.8 and 1.2 should be used to determine the market premium of doctors on the grading of a house officer to a medical officer, and those above the grade of medical officers respectively.

These were the awards or ruling given by the arbitration committee on November 4, 2011 after a compulsory arbitration of a labour dispute between the FWSC and GMA.

The issues of contention arose when the GMA claimed that some factors used in a prior grading structure that resulted in dissatisfaction among professionals of the health service and were corrected and gazetted in June, 2006.

However, in another job re-evaluation exercise by Price WaterHouseCoopers, the FWSC, the GMA claimed, used factors that could not be explained instead of using raw scores to determine placements, resulting in some inconsistencies of the placement of its members.

The two parties also differed on the calculation on the market premium, which is the monetary incentive paid to those with skills in short supply within the economy.

While the FWSC had calculated a premium for the health service, taking into consideration the number of extra hours worked and arriving at 0.8 for junior doctors and 1.0 for doctors on senior grades, the GMA contended that the number of hours worked by its members were more and accepting the calculation by the FWSC meant that they would be paid for only half the number of hours worked.

On the third issue regarding the grade of the district director of medical services and the medical doctors, while the FWSC said that the grades were created by an Act of Parliament and, therefore, it only placed those officers on the grading structure after the job evaluation exercise, the GMA said a prior arrangement had to be maintained.

The NLC said it deemed it fair and equitable to calculate the market premium for doctors with 1.0 for doctors on the house officer grade to the medical officer grade and 1.2 for health professionals above the medical officer grade.

The award further said the considered opinion of the panel was that the issue relating to the grading of the district director of medical services and the medical superintendent was outside the jurisdiction of the FWSC and asked that any issues of concern be raised with the management of the GHS.

Source: Daily Graphic

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