HSWU asks government to address the needs of members

Mr Reynolds O Tenkorang
Mr Reynolds O Tenkorang

The Health Service Workers Union (HSWU) has called on the Government to attend to the needs of members and ensure their fundamental human rights are protected.

The Union said it felt that the Government was not doing enough to protect their rights.

“Over the years, the Health Services Workers Union has stood and fought for the protection of the rights of its members through collective bargaining, which has not been implemented till now,” Mr Reynolds Tenkorang, the General Secretary of HSWU, said.

He said there was evidence to prove that if the Government had fully implemented the signed Collective Agreement with the Union, “We would not have heard of any intended strike action by the mortuary workers of Ghana”.

Mr Tenkorang said this was because government and other key stakeholders like the National Labour Commission (NLC) had not done much to resolve the issue amicably.

“It is worth noting that the Union has been taken for granted despite its effort over the period to observe all the procedures required in resolving the issues. We say this because government is not implementing the Collective Agreement (CA) signed on 11th December, 2015…” he added.

Mr Tenkorang said the fundamental rights of health workers should be respected because they contributed immensely towards the provision of quality health delivery in the country.

“Moreover, this Agreement is overdue for review and all efforts to get the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, representing the Government, to begin negotiation with the Union have been unsuccessful. We have also called on the Minister of Health to intervene, but this plea yielded no positive results”.

He said a call on the Government to unfreeze the Market Premium percentages from 2012 salaries to current figures had not also materialise.

“At the inception of the Single Spine Salary Structure, Health Workers negotiated Market Premium ranging from 15 per cent to 75 per cent of salaries as allowance for members because the Health Sector salaries had some component of allowance (the consolidated additional duty allowance).

“Going forward, the Government has decided to keep this allowance static and not as a percentage of current salaries anymore. We call on government to engage all health workers to unfreeze the Market Premium to current figure before workers start to agitate,” he added.

Mr Tenkorang noted that the health sector was an important segment of the country and working there was equally very dangerous because workers were exposed to numerous kinds of risks and illnesses from the environment they worked in.

He said amidst those risks, workers had been dedicated, committed and delivered services in a professional manner.

He said the Allied Health Council had been without a board for over two years and appealed to the Government to address all pending issues at the sector to enhance productivity.

“We call on the Government to be fair to all health practitioners as healthcare delivery is a team work,” he said.

The General Secretary said the Allied Health Professions group, comprising 18 professionals such as Physiotherapists, Dieticians and Laboratory Scientists, though very important in the medical field, have been isolated and neglected.

“We salute all the gallant health workers on Workers Day and wish that we continue to work hard to deliver quality health service to all”.

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