HSWU gives government a month to pay insurance package to affected members

The Health Services Workers’ Union (HSWU) has given one month to pay all insurance package it promised its members who contracted the COVID-19 while discharging their duty.

According to the Union, it will advise itself if the government fails to heed to their legitimate request.

Mr Franklin Owusu Ansah, the General Secretary of the Union, announced this at a press conference in Accra to highlight the Resolution of their just ended 12th Quadrennial National Delegate Conference of the Union.

He said so far, data collected from the facilities revealed that more than 120 of their members contracted the deadly virus, out of which four died.

“Some of our members have contracted the deadly COVID-19 virus, others have also lost their lives painfully.

“This is to let you know that government has not yet honoured their promise of the compensation,” he said.

Government, in the early stages of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, announced an insurance scheme for health workers, but the Union said the government has not honour its promise to the affected members.

The Union also called on the government to pay all members working in the health facilities the 50 per cent of their basic salary as a motivational package since they are also exposed to the high risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Mr Ansah said fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is a teamwork and accused the government of attempting to cause segregation by referring to some health workers as front liners.

“Meanwhile, all health workers are exposed to the high risk of contracting this virus and should be paid the 50 per cent basic salary as paid to the purported front line health workers,” he explained.

The General Secretary said the Union would engage the government to ensure that health and safety issues raised are paramount in the various places of work.

“Workers are not to sell their health but render their services for income, Mr Ansah said

He said: “In view of this it is appropriate that government protects all workers by providing them with the requisite Personal Protective Equipment adequately and create a safe working environment”.

Mr Ansah also noted that members of the HSWU shall not compulsorily subscribe to the two per cent deductions proposed by the Ghana Health Service for the creation of the Welfare Benefit Scheme, adding that “membership shall be voluntary”.

He said: “The HSWU shall rather improve its welfare scheme for members. The HSWU shall also create a scheme that would have several segments to take care of terminal illnesses that are not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme”.

He also called on the government to immediately commence and complete negotiations with the Union on the Collective Agreement to forestall peace in the health sector.

In another development, the Danish Trade Union Development Agency through the Trades Union Congress, Ghana has donated PPE worth GH¢74, 000.00 to the National Executives HSWU to be distributed to all members across the country.

Mrs Mary A. Karimu, Head of International Affairs, TUC (GH) presented the items and they were received by Mr Emmanuel Lloyd Baffle, the National Vice Chairperson of the HSWU.

Source: GNA

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