Failed negotiations Doctors' strike action is justified – Casely-Hayford

Mr. Casely-Hayford believes that what the doctors have done is a call for negotiation.

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Casely-Hayford - Financial Analyst play Casely-Hayford
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Financial Analyst, Sidney Casely-Hayford has said that he sees nothing wrong with the demands of striking doctors since government has not been sincere with negotiations.

“I think there is something wrong with the way we have structured the labour laws in this country... I think that in all of these, our governments over the past have become gradually and more insincere with the way they negotiate labour agitations. We tend to go to the table to make promises when we know very well that we have been in several exchanges of paper and negotiations with a particular group of people for so many years and later come out as if they just suddenly woke up last week and decided to strike," he said on Citi FM’s The Big Issue.

READ MORE: > Doctors declare nationwide strike

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) declared a nationwide strike on Thursday July 30 withdrawing all out-patient department (OPD) services following the failure of government to provide them with their conditions of service.

The decision has left patients stranded at various public hospitals while others have lost their lives.

Some government activists have described as “blackmail” the strike action, saying that the doctors are just using the lives of Ghanaians as a bargaining chip to coerce government to heed to their demands.

But Mr. Casely-Hayford believes that what the doctors have done is a call for negotiation. According to him, although he does not wish that an action taken should lead to the death of innocent souls, government ought to obey contractual negotiations.

“I sincerely believe the right to demand what is yours when you’ve been contracted should be absolutely preserved under any situation. If I am engaged as an employee and my employer refuses to pay me or after agreeing and negotiating with me, then he starts reneging on the agreement, that for me means I have the right to do what I need to do in order to either keep my position or get my money. That is the way a contractual obligation should be,” he said.

“I don’t like the idea that in either a striking or in a dissension in its extreme force, people should die as a result. But I think in any negotiating situation, there are two parties and both parties should do what is right and proper in order to ensure that nobody is an innocent victim in everything that is being negotiated,” he added.

READ MORE: > Labour consultant slams Mahama; calls for Stan Dogbe’s head

According to Mr. Casely-Hayford, the idea of doctors getting clothes and risk allowances among others is designed in the single spine salary structure and should be followed accordingly.

“If the amount of money you have been given under this particular negotiation is insufficient because the conditions in the environment, the cost of living is too high or has escalated beyond a certain level where income is not sufficient for you to be able to manage, then of course you will be aggrieved, then of course you will agitate, then of course you will strike, then of course there will be consequences. And I have nothing negative to say about anybody who demands his rights because I have [he has] a negotiated contract,” he intimated.

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