STATEMENT: CONCERNED TAXPAYERS UNION ON GMA STRIKE ACTION:
The Concerned Taxpayers Union deem it fit to add its voice to the issue of the ongoing strike action by some members of the Ghana Medical Association.
The above named group has noted rather with great shock and disappointment the strike embarked upon by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).
In as much as we believe that individual workers must be paid what is due them as remuneration for work done, we cannot condone attempts to tie the hands of the people of Ghana because of the nature of service members of the Association render to the public.
It is worth noting that while negotiations about their conditions of service were ongoing, the GMA served notice to government with regards to their intention to embark on this strike by close of July 2015 if their demands were not met.
We see that act as an act in bad faith. How can a party to a negotiation threaten strike on a matter that is under discussion whose end cannot be predicted till deliberations are over? We see that act then, as an attempt to tie the hands of the government of Ghana to give in to their demands without regard to the overall interest of Ghanaians.
As at the time of this press release, the GMA had served notice of attending only to emergency cases, with increasing withdrawals as the days or weeks go by. To our understanding, GMA cannot continue to be on strike while seeking to see this matter resolved. We can say that this posturing of the GMA is an act that does not portray people who are READY for the amicable resolution of this matter and only seek to blackmail the nation.
It must be put on record that the Ghana Medical Association is not on strike because of unpaid salaries nor salaries that are in arrears. As we speak, July salaries have been paid members of the Association. What they are on strike over is their inability to reach an agreement with government over their conditions of service.
As a matter of fact, the GMA cannot tell us they have been operating in this country without conditions of service. In any case, were they not aware what their salaries and allowances as well as progression in their line of profession were? Is that not amounting to conditions of service? They are seeking for a review of those conditions in our view. That could account for the demands they are making.
To brief all on the issues, the GMAs proposal they submitted to the negotiation table is in the public domain. For the benefit of those who might not have seen it, these are but a few of the demands they are making from government as part of their conditions of service:
?On-call-duty facilitation: 20% of basic salary. It used to be 10% of basic salary.
?Accommodation (in lieu): 40% of basic salary from its current position of 20% of basic salary.
?Fuel (House Officer- SMO): 80gallons per month
?Fuel (PMO ? Specialist): 90gallons per month
?Fuel (Sen Specialist- Consultant): 100gallons per month
?Clothing allowance: 30% of basic salary.
That is not all. In addition to the above, the GMA is also demanding that the following be instituted, all in addition to their basic monthly salaries:
1. Utility allowance: 20% of basic salary/ month
2. Special Risk Allow: 25% of basic salary/ month
3. Professional Allow: 50% of basic salary/ month
4. Vehicle Maintenance: 20% of basic salary/ month
5. Clothing allowance: 30% of of basic salary
5. Overtime allowance: Should be increased from 40hrs/ week
to 200hrs/ week.
6. Waiver on importation of vehicles
7. Fully paid Postgraduate medical education
8. Fully paid Continuous Professional Dev?t sanctioned by the
Medical & Dental Council
9. Malpractice Insurance Cover for all doctors and dentists
10. Lump sum long service award: Last gross salary x 180
months (15years of service).
We have done some computations using the income of a Principal Medical Officer; what is usually refer to as PMO and have attached it to this statement for your own assessment.
Currently a Principal Medical Officer (PMO) receives a basic salary of Ghc2,655.87 per month with a market premium of Ghc2,898.41 per month making a monthly salary of Ghc5,554.28 without allowance.
An assessment of the new demands by GMA:
?Accommodation 40% of of basic salary = Ghc1,062.35 per month
?Fuel 90 gallons = Ghc1,530.00
Overtime Allowance 200 hours per month (1.25% of basic salary) = Ghc3,319.84
?On-Call-Allowance 20% of basic salary = Ghc531.17
?Professional Allowance 50% of basic salary = Ghc1,327.94
?Risk Allowance 25% of basic salary = Ghc663.97
?Vehicle Maintenance Allowance 20% of basic salary = Ghc531.17
?When all these demands are met (Basic Salary + Market Premium) = Ghc16,645.41 (166,454,100 old Cedis)
For long service (Where a doctors works for 15 years) GMA is asking for Ghc999,770.40 as long service allowance.
In all of these, the GMA members are asking for something that beats our minds.
GMA wants its members to be given waiver when they import cars ( that is; no duty on cars they import).
Yet, they are asking that government gives them 20% of basic salary as VEHICLE MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE ? the vehicle you and I would have agreed they import for free!
In effect, we are telling GMA members to bring cars for you and I to maintain them for their comfort.
We consider these demands as outrageous. We do not think government has any justification using our taxes to meet this overwhelming demands.
The ordinary Ghanaian whose taxes are used to provide the existing remuneration upon which new ones are being demanded struggle to import car into this country. He earns no assured salary and yet maintains his car at his own cost aside the exorbitant import duty he has to pay to clear it. The GMA wants this for its members free of charge at the cost of the ordinary taxpayer.
To be fair, we would want to say a big thank you to those members of the GMA who refused to partake in this strike action but chose to stay in the various hospitals across the country to save lives. They are adhering to the oath they took to save lives.
In conclusion, the constant threats from the GMA coupled with their use of human lives as bargaining chip to get what they want and blackmail the nation does not enure to the interest of the masses. We would resist any attempt by government to give in to these demands which we consider preposterous to say the least. Doctors are important to us, but they remain mortals. The love for one another must supercede that of personal interests.
LONG LIVE GHANA
Adomako Fred Williams. Lashibi, Greater Accra Region.
Stephen Kwabena Attuh. Lapaz, Greater Accra Region.
Nii Adotey Yemo. Adenta, Greater Accra Region.
Kwabena Nino Brown. Akosombo, Eastern Region.
Hamza Issahaku. Takoradi, Western Region.
Alhaji Willie Pee. Effia Kuma Takoradi, Western Region.
Adom Johnson. Techiman, Brong Ahafo Region.
Amadu Tuariq. Kasoa, Central Region.
Ibrahim Shaibu. Kyebi, Eastern Region.
Edwin K. Amponsah. Accra, Greater Accra Region.
Amofa Baffoe. Republic of Ireland. Ibrahim Diallo. Tarkwa, Western Region.
Eden Kojo. Agona, Central Region.
Danny Kweku Owusu. Obuasi, Ashanti Region.
Ernest Ahiaba. Ashaiman, Greater Accra Region.
Adjei-Quaye Alexander. Accra, Greater Accra Region.
Seshie Linus Renny. Afife, Volta Region.
Quabena Phyl. Navrongo, Upper East Region.
Senam Doe Kpemli. Ho, Volta Region.
Munkaila Abdul-Wahab. Agona, Central Region.
Franklina Sefakor Deh. Adenta, Greater Accra Region.
Ebo Edzie. Cape Coast, Central Region.
Eric K. Ampomah. Anyaa-Sowutuom, Greater Accra Region.
John Bambir. Yamoransa, Central Region.
Akwetey Ishmael Addo. Ashaiman, Greater Accra Region.
Adu Adolph Sedem. Ho, Volta Region.
William Arthur Mends. Abura Dunkwa, Central Region.
Madi Iddrisu Ayongo. Bawku, Upper East Region.
Paul Danka. Bawku, Upper East Region.
Malcom Pratt. Tamale, Northern Region.
Sally Aku Greene. Madina, Greater Accra Region.
Ibrahim Shaibu. Akwatia, Eastern Region.
Abelem Karim Hadi. Bawku, Upper East Region.
Mohammed Nasiba. Nkawkaw, Eastern Region.
Patrick Marius Agyemang. Hohoe, Volta Region.
Kwame Afriyie. Legion, Greater Accra Region.
Charles Orleans-Mensah. Elmina, Central Region.
Selasy Marshalls Krah. Spintex, Greater Accra Region.
Sufyam Suleiman Suraj. Lapaz, Greater Accra Region.
Drah Moses Tetteh. Adenta, Greater Accra Region.
Esther Nana Yaa Ayensu. Elmina, Central Region.
Martin Dzade. Twifo Praso, Central Region.
Kofi Antwi. Anyaa-Sowutuom, Greater Accra Region.