GOVERNMENT HAS initiated moves to stop the salaries of workers who are currently on strike, including medical doctors.
A press release issued yesterday in Accra and signed by Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment & Labour Relations, claimed the ministry had directed all heads of government establishments where workers have embarked on illegal (partial or full) strike actions to compile and submit to their respective ministers of state the list of workers who have been absenting themselves from work as a result of a strike or protest.
The ministry said it wanted to remind all public sector workers of the provisions of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), which states among other things, that a worker on strike “may forfeit his/her remuneration in respect of the period during which he/she is engaged in the illegal strike.”
It added that “the compiled lists are to be submitted to the ministry of finance on or before Friday, August 14, 2015 for necessary action.”
Medical doctors in the country have suspended their services after demanding a formal document containing their conditions of service, which they say the government has yet not met. They have also threatened to resign en masse if their demands are not met.
But at their routine monthly national executive council meeting in Koforidua in the Eastern Region yesterday, the doctors could not give any positive statement on whether or not the ongoing strike would be called off any time soon.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called for an extraordinary general assembly meeting on Friday, August 14, 2015 to review the decision to press home their demand for negotiated and signed conditions of service.
GMA president, Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei and General Secretary, Dr Frank Serebour, jointly signed a press release yesterday to this effect.
The GMA said the ongoing propaganda by government putting out lies in the media would only result in inflaming passions.
“This rather worsens the situation and in so doing boost the determination of the GMA to press home its demand for proper negotiated and signed conditions of service,” it stated.
It maintained that the national executive council meeting had been necessitated by various developments and appeals by various groups and individuals in the country.
The statement called on all GMA members to remain resolute in such turbulent times.
“In the light of the above, the GMA calls on all its members to remain calm and steadfast in these turbulent times,” it urged.
The GMA ceased the opportunity to register its regret about events happening in the Holy Family Hospital at Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region, where 14 house officers have been relieved for reposting because they joined the ongoing strike. It said such acts amount to intimidation and infringe on the rights of the junior doctors.
The GMA, citing the law as its support, called on all heads of hospitals across the country to refrain from such ‘communists inferior tactics’ in the handling of its members.
It threatened to advise its members not to serve in such institutions in the future if the need arises.
“The GMA will not hesitate to bring its full force to bear on such institutions that perpetrate such inferior tactics on its members,” the statement underscored.
The statement finally sought to appeal to the sensibility of all Ghanaians by reminding them that however difficult its actions may be, it is geared towards “finding long term solutions towards labour relations and improve on efficiency and quality care in the health sector.”