Health Workers Union expresses concern about labour unrest

The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra
The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra

The Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) of the Trade Union Congress has expressed concern about the spate of labour unrest in the health sector and its implications on healthcare delivery.

The Union asked why it is taking government so long to address the grievances of the workers.

A statement issued by HSWU General Secretary Mr Abu D. Kuntulo and copied to the Ghana News Agency, reminded government of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).

The Act states that “industrial disputes affecting essential service workers including health service workers shall be addressed or settled within three days”.

Mr Kuntolo urged government to comply with the provision.

The statement drew government’s attention to a communiqué which was jointly signed by the leadership of HSWU, Ghana Registered Nurses Association and the Ghana Medical Association on February 9, 2012, which concerned government’s decision to stop the payment of the conversion difference to some health sector workers in the public service.

“It is regrettable to note that attempts to dialogue on the restoration of conversion difference for our members have failed.

“We believe that we can find solutions to all the grievances through effective dialogue based on mutual trust,” he said.

The HSWU observed that the basic salaries of its members have reduced as a result of the migration from the Health Sector Salary Structure to the Single Spine Salary Structure, which has reduced their social security contributions.

The Union appealed to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, and the National Labour Commission to be circumspect in handling labour issues concerning emolument and other terms and conditions of employment.

It asked government and its agencies to act with professionalism and be mindful of the principles underpinning collective bargaining and disputes settlement.

Source: GNA

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