Government says doctors’ strike is illegal

Haruna Iddrisu - Minister of Employment
Haruna Iddrisu – Minister of Employment

The Government has declared the current withdrawal of services by the country’s medical doctors as illegal and has, therefore, called on them to return to work.

A statement signed by Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister For Employment & Labour Relations and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reiterated the Government’s commitment to the creation of a conducive working environment for all public sector workers.

In this regard, Government had lately been in discussion with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on conditions of service for medical officers.

The statement indicated, however, that in view of the need to maintain equity and fairness in public sector remuneration, especially in order not to jeopardize the recently implemented Single Spine Pay Policy, it had become necessary for Government to seek the advice of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on the demands put forward by the medical doctors.

It noted that the demands contained in the conditions of service proposed by the doctors had never existed in the past, and indicated the critical need for Government to conduct a financial analysis of the impact of any such conditions of service on Government expenditure in order not to adversely affect the annual budget approved by Parliament.

“Any negotiations of such allowances must therefore be under the ambit and in line with the work of the Public Service Joint Negotiating Committee (PSJNC)” the statement emphasized, and noted that already the PSJNC was involved in a universal discussion of Category 2 & 3 allowances.

“Government is of the view that while these processes are on-going, it is unfair and against the rules of labour practice for the GMA to declare a partial strike by withdrawing all outpatient services”, it stated, adding that the doctors’ action amounted to coercion and an attempt to compel Government to negotiate under duress.

Source: GNA

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