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Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives criticises GRNMA's unilateral COS negotiations

The Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG), has expressed deep dissatisfaction with the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association's (GRNMA) recent unilateral negotiation and signing of the 2024 Conditions of Service (COS) for nurses and midwives.

Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives criticises GRNMA's unilateral COS negotiations

According to the UPNMG, the negotiation process was conducted without adequate consultation with other unions, leaving key stakeholders uninformed about the details of the new agreement.

In a statement, the UPNMG highlighted that on January 17, 2023, the GRNMA initially invited the UPNMG and other union leaders to contribute proposals for the COS to be submitted to the government.

The UPNMG responded, actively participating in the initial stages of the COS development with the aim of enhancing the welfare and socio-economic conditions of nurses and midwives in Ghana. This initial engagement was viewed as a promising step towards collaborative efforts within the profession.

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However, following the UPNMG's receipt of the harmonised COS proposal, communication from the GRNMA ceased. Despite numerous attempts by the UPNMG to seek updates, there was no further communication from the GRNMA.

This lack of transparency, according to the UPNMG, is a violation of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), and Labour Regulations 2007, (L.I. 1833), regulation 10, which mandates that the holder of the collective bargaining certificate (CBC) should lead negotiations with the involvement of other unions.

The UPNMG emphasised the importance of transparency and inclusivity in the negotiation process, stating that the GRNMA's failure to involve other unions has raised significant concerns.

Advocating for a more collaborative approach, the UPNMG urged the adoption of a negotiation model similar to those of other unions that have successfully secured favorable conditions for their members.

The UPNMG also announced its intention to petition the Chief Labour Officer through its lawyers regarding the GRNMA's breach of the labour act and labour regulations.

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The union called for immediate transparency from the GRNMA and insisted that future negotiations involve every union within the nursing and midwifery sector, as required by regulation 10 in L.I. 1833.

In their statement, the UPNMG urged all nurses and midwives across the country to remain calm while awaiting the details of the signed COS.

They acknowledged the anxiety and frustration among professionals caused by the current situation and the suspense surrounding the COS content.

The union expressed hope that the new COS would benefit all ranks of nurses and midwives, but also warned that if the agreement fails to meet their expectations, they would not hesitate to demonstrate their “dissatisfaction with the GRNMA's continuous holding of the collective bargaining chip despite failing to secure better conditions of service for nurses and midwives.”

Read the full statement below:

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