The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Health Service Workers Union (HSWU) has called on the health authorities to regularise the contract of all Internally Generated Fund (IGF) staff.
According to the Union it had observed that many IGF staff had been working for more than 15 years, which is in contravention of the Labour Law Act 2003 (Act 651) Section 68.
A Communique issued at the end of the Fifth Regular NEC Meeting, held in Tema, said in some cases those IGF staff received lower salaries than their counterparts on the Single Spine Salary Structure though they did the same work.
Mr Reynolds O. Tenkorang, the Secretary General of HSWU, said the services of the IGF staff were also essential in the public health institutions across the country and emphasised the need to engage them permanently to give them job security.
He said another concern of the NEC was the non-implementation of the National Health Laboratory Policy for Medical laboratory Scientists, which was approved in 2012 to guide and manage health laboratories in both private and public sectors.
Mr Tenkorang said the policy aimed at developing standards for laboratory services to cover infrastructure, human resource, equipment and supplies within the country, adding that: “The Union is demanding an urgent implementation by government to avoid any industrial action by the Laboratory Staff in Ghana”.
He said there was massive pressure mounting amongst all their members in the Health Service across the country and per signals gathered by the Union, the country would be greatly affected if the Government allowed the bubble to burst.
“Furthermore, the NEC, in session, also resolved that if these enumerated concerns are not addressed immediately, another NEC meeting should be convened to declare a nationwide strike,” he said.
“This is not our desire, but a further delay from the Government might trigger the Nationwide strike action. It would be in good taste for government and everyone if these issues are resolved as soon as possible. On this note we believe government would do the needful.”
On non-implementation and review of the Collective Agreement, he said it was in contravention of the Labour Act Sections 74 and 105 and that had led to the attempted strike by some mortuary workers that were adequately covered by the Agreement.
He said all efforts to get the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to begin negotiation with the Union had been unsuccessful, and “this also is a breach of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) Sections 107.”
“We, therefore, call on the Minister of Health to use his good offices, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that the Agreement is fully implemented in all Public Health Institutions.
Furthermore, we would entreat the government, through the Fair Waged and Salaries Commission, to convene a Joint Standing Negotiating Committee Meeting to review the Collective Agreement.”