The Coalition of Unpaid Nurses and Midwives has called off its week-long indefinite strike over unpaid salaries and arrears.
The aggrieved nurses on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 embarked on an indefinite strike to demand full payment of their outstanding salaries.
According to the group, numbering around 7000, in spite of 'round table discussions, promises and reassurances' by the Ministry of Employment and Labour relations to have all of them paid by December 2015, only 30 percent of its members have been paid so far.
But, in a press statement released on Thursday, February 10, 2016, the group said even though it is yet to receive full payment of salaries as promised, it has suspended its nationwide strike following pleas from its mother association, the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives' Association to rescind the decision.
"In this regard, and in consideration of the fact that innocent lives are endangered and so many calls are made to call off our strike, the COALITION hereby declare "officially" resumption of duty by all striking nurses and midwives effective Thursday 11 February 2016," the statement said.
The group has however called on government to speed up payment processes, adding that "the COALITION shall take an "unpleasant" action if detected disparities in the payment of the deferred and withheld salaries of our affected members are not addressed with immediate effect. We also call on the employer to attend to all outstanding issues of salary (both new entrants and promotional arrears)."
Below is the full statement:
COALITION OF UNPAID NURSES AND MIDWIVES
PRESS RELEASE: STRIKE ACTION- CALLED OFF
Members of the Press
Good people of Ghana
As you have all been witnessing, Coalition of Unpaid Nurses and Midwives (comprising of over 7,000 nurses and Midwives who have issues with their salaries and arrears; both new entrants and promotional arrears) across the country have embarked on strike for a week now.
In 2015, The leadership of the COALITION was "PROMISED" by the Ministry Of Employment and Labour , Ministry Of Health and "assured with much hope" by our mother association, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives' Association (GRNMA) that our salaries and outstanding arrears will be paid latest October 2015.
Today is 10th February 2016 and It may interest the public that this promise was "not fulfilled"
Our strike has affected the health of this nation negatively.
So many calls have been made by our mother association, GRNMA, Directors of Nursing, Nurse Managers, Senior Colleagues in the most noble profession and other health stakeholders. Others were in tears on phone as they express how our strike has exerted pressure on them, endangering innocent lives at the various health facilities.
The leadership of the COALITION toured some health facilities and we felt sad for such inconveniences, but the blame "must" be directed to our:
employer; for not ensuring we are been paid duly within 6 months as enshrined in the labour act,
the Human Resource Directors; for delaying submission of documents leading to expired financial clearance, others requesting for money and the likes before they work on our documents,
the MOH IPPD and controller; for creating much "errors"(technical or deliberate) leading to so many anomalies in the arrears payment and first 3 months payment,
Finance Ministry; for always introducing new forms to be filled for our monies, yet nothing happens and also not releasing much financial clearance fully to clear monies owed,
Government; for the introduction of this "3 months payment directive" which has led to strikes resulting from frustrations and stress, and failure to provide the MOH IPPD a SERVER to ensure unlimited period for "keying in" to make more entries and resolve anomalies in salary payment at anytime, as it happens at the Ministry of Education.
It has come to our notice that some HRs are refusing to fill this template forms and submit , others are requesting for official notice from MOH before they perform such duty. Hence the COALITION pleads MOH and regional HRs to communicate effectively to all facility HRs to that effect.
We also put it on record that the "Finance Ministry" has not been fair to us at all. The Finance Minstry is traumatising us psychologically but if we consider the unfair treatment from this ministry, so many lives will be lost.
Reason being that some HRs are refusing to fill the templates because Ministry Of Finance gave them a "list containing only some few names" and
according to our source, only names in that list must be allowed to fill the templates.
We therefore ask "Ministry Of Finance" to be PASSIONATE and revert such directive to ensure we are all being paid duly. This delay tactics in payment may be "chaotic". We strongly believe "Ministry Of Finance" is the MAIN cause of our sufferings.
The question the COALITION members are asking is that, if Ministry Of Finance is able to secure fund for other Ministries to do things of less priority why can't this same Ministry Of Finance secure fund for Minstry Of Health to pay all nurses and midwives the monies government is owing?
Is it fair to use monies for other things of less priority while you owe nurses and midwives their salaries and arrears?
God is the best JUDGE
In this regard, and in consideration of the fact that innocent lives are endangered and so many calls are made to call off our strike, the COALITION hereby declare "officially" resumption of duty by all striking nurses and midwives effective Thursday 11 February 2016.
This is however to be considered as a retreat in a purposeful strike action and not an end to all issues. Our resumption is not base on promises by authorities because the COALITION has lost "trust" in authorities.
The COALITION shall take an "unpleasant" action if detected disparities in the payment of the deferred and withheld salaries of our affected members are not addressed with immediate effect. We also call on the employer to attend to all outstanding issues of salary (both new entrants and promotional arrears).
The COALITION renders appreciation to the striking Nurses and Midwives for their commitment, cooperation and tolerance as they endured the undesirable pain and anxiety of such ill treatment and also for showing respect for the leadership of their COALITION and GRNMA.
We express our gratitude to our mother association, GRNMA for calling on us to spearhead our course.
We thank you also the members of the Press for your great demonstration of professional excellence in communication.
LONG LIVE NURSES AND MIDWIVES!
LONG LIVE GHANA!