Government deny claims GMA conditions of service have stalled

At a press conference organised by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on developments on the labour front, Mr Iddrisu said soon workable conditions of service would be arrived at.

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Haruna Iddrisu

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Mr George Smith-Graham, have denied rumours that negotiations with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have stalled.

“I am very optimistic that we should be able to commit to a signed codified condition of service,” he said.

Mr Smith-Graham, added that, “GMA negotiations are ongoing and I believe that we should be able to come up with something more formidable soon.”

However, the President of the GMA, Dr Kwabena Adusei-Poku, has argued that no progress had been made so long as there was no signed conditions of service.

Mr Smith-Graham, on the other hand is expected to appear soon before the National Labour Commission to update it on the progress made with regard to the negotiations with the GMA.

Mr Iddrisu said there were grey areas which the government had made its position clear on, but would not elaborate, since negotiations were still underway.

He further said the issue of the doctors demanding that they retire on their salaries was outside the purview of the ministry, since that was a constitutional matter.

Negotiations between the two bodies resumed last month following appeals from various bodies including the National Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, the clergy, and the media who worked behind the scenes to convince the doctors to return to work after a three-months strike action.

The GMA embarked on a strike on July 29, 2015 by withdrawing all Out-Patient Department (OPD) care to back their demand for conditions of service from the government.The doctors moved the strike a step further by refusing to attend to emergency cases from August 7, 2015 when the government was unable to met their demand.On August 14, the GMA met and resolved to continue the strike for two more weeks, instead of the doctors resigning en bloc, as they had earlier threatened to do.However, a release by the association called on all members to resume work on August 24, while they awaited further information from their leaders.The GMA said it took that decision after it had met and deliberated extensively on the ongoing industrial action and discussed all developments, including the dedication of its members to fight for a negotiated and signed conditions of service document.


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