Back to work Doctors’ decision to call off strike is a “tactical retreat” – Labour expert

Talks between government and the striking doctors had stalled on several occasions.

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According to a labour consultant, Francis Kofi Davor, the decision by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to call off its three-week long industrial action is not an indication that the doctors have lost in their bid to demand improvement and codification of their conditions of service.

Talks between government and the striking doctors had stalled on several occasions. While the doctors said government was not negotiating with them in good faith, government also said it could not negotiate under duress.

READ MORE: > Doctors’ strike unintelligent – Sam George

Mr. Davor on Citi FM’s The Big Issue while answering if loyalist of the governing National Democratic Congress will be wrong to celebrate that the doctors are back to work and their government did not yield to pressure from the striking doctors stated that the doctors’ decision is not a sign of defeat.

“There are no losers in the matter. Giving my own experience, you don’t embark on a strike forever. And if you have an intension of embarking on a strike forever, you must know that at the end of the day, you will lose. So it is always more intelligent that the doctors have demonstrated to back a certain retreat and I will call it a tactical retreat,” he said.

“The doctors will now say ‘we were on strike, you said we should go back to work, we are now going back to work and we expect the other party to live up to the principles and its responsibilities. So nobody has lost in this matter,” Mr. Davor added.

READ MORE: > House of Chiefs to mediate impasse between doctors and govt

The National Executive Council of the GMA after considering the appeals from members of the general public, the clergy, and the National Council of Chiefs called off its strike and asked that the negotiations committee of the GMA continue to negotiate on behalf of the members of the association with government such that the conclusion of negotiations would be fed into the 2016 budget for implementation of same.

According to Mr Davor, all those who appealed to the striking doctors now have a role to play in ensuring a smooth resolution.

“It is a good thing. It engenders a lot of goodwill for the doctors who will now expect all those who appealed to them to call off the strike to play a good role to ensure that the issue of conditions of service is resolved,” he said.

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