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Nurses, Midwives strike: Parties given up to Oct. 28 to finalise a roadmap - Okoe-Boye

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye
Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye
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Deputy Minister for Health Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye says the National Labour Commission has given all parties involved the negotiation of a better condition of service for nurses and midwives up to October 28 to finalise a roadmap.

Speaking on Asempa FM's Ekosiisen after a stakeholder meeting to address the concerns of the nurses and midwives, Dr Okoe-Boye said all parties involved were present at the meeting.

They include the leadership of the nurses and midwives, the Government of Ghana, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the National Labour Commission.

According to him, by October 28 all the parties will be expected to reach a consensus but if they are unable to do so the NLC will come in and make sure there is a consensus.

He stated that the government has always been sensitive to the concerns of the nurses but the sustainability of their requests is what they needed to be very sure about before agreeing to it.

Dr Okoe-Boye also stated that the court order was not to make nonsense of the demands of the nurses but rather give all parties ample time to reach an agreement.

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, GRNMA has today suspended their nationwide strike which started on Monday.

Addressing the media, the president of the Association, Perpetual Ofori Ampofo disclosed their decision follows a court order by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

The nurses and midwives will resume work tomorrow September 24.

General Secretary of the Association David Tenkorang said 8 am tomorrow all their members will be present at their posts.

He explained that they have been duly served with the court order and because they are law-abiding they will temporarily call off the strike pending further negotiations.

David Tenkorang said they are yet to meet with the National Labour Commission, NLC as they requested.

Background

The NLC had secured an interim injunction to restrain the group from going ahead with the strike but they defied the court orders and are currently on strike.

The injunction was obtained at the Labour Division Court 1 of the High Court on Friday, September 18, 2020, and will last for ten days.

Though the NLC has secured an injunction to stop the nurses from striking, the latter claims that they have not been officially served.

The NLC says the striking nurses and midwives risk salary deductions for the number of days they have embarked on their illegal strike.

Executive Secretary of the NLC Ofosu Asamoah said their unlawful actions comes with some consequences.

“There is a court order restraining them from embarking on the strike and they have decided to defy the orders of the court and go ahead with their industrial strike. Four things have come to play, first by law when you engage in unlawful strike you should not be paid your salary or anything entitled to you for the period you are on strike.

Two, the proponents of the illegal strike should be responsible for the payment of the wages and salaries of the members engaged in the illegal strike as a result of the declaration by their leadership

Three, if you engaged in the illegal strike… it means that you have abandoned your post unlawfully and if it continues for 10 days or more you can be regarded as abandoning your post and your employer can terminate your appointment

Those who ordered the unlawful strike after the court order has been served and they are aware is contempt of court.”