19 June 2012

Ghana: TUC Boss Wants Health Workers to Remain Non-Partisan

Kumasi — Mr. Kofi Asamoah, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, has charged employees of the Ghana Health Service to remain non-partisan to forestall unnecessary political polarisation at the expense of services to mankind.

The call comes from concerns that the country had become so polarised that issues that normally ought to be national in character, are approached and discussed from partisan perspectives, and people who give their expert views on national issues are tagged as belonging to party A or B.

The middle line, he said, had been eliminated, and it was no longer possible to remain neutral in the national discourse.

The General Secretary was delivering his speech at the 10th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Health Services Workers' Union, held in Kumasi under the theme: "Public Sector Pay Reforms: The Impact on the Health Worker."

According to him, this unhealthy political polarisation was gradually creeping into the activities of the union movement. He noted: "Gradually, but steadily, political partisanship with ethnic undertones is becoming the determining factor in our own leadership contest," further saying this was a canker that would undermine our relevance, and surely compromise trade union unity and solidarity.

The TUC boss explained that the Constitution of the TUC unequivocally states that we are non-partisan, and must, therefore, guard against trappings and temptations from politicians and their political parties who may seek to determine and direct the fortunes of the union movement.

He stated that the coming elections must be about issues and the future of this country. They must be about which party and/or candidates have the smartest ideas in combating joblessness, poverty and deprivation; ideas about addressing the erratic power situation, ensuring that the water taps flow, solve the crippling sanitation problem, and address the basic challenges that confront the education and health sectors.

He, therefore, urged politicians to use their political platforms to talk about these, and urged the electorate to reward those who address these issues, and punish those who do not.

He called on the government, the Electoral Commission, the police, media and politicians and their political parties to ensure peaceful elections, as the Ghana TUC and its affiliates shall remain non-partisan, gibing the assurance that it (TUC) would not fail to organise to resist any attempts to destabilise Ghana.

Mr. Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health, commended the union for its tremendous efforts in the health of the mankind.

He noted that the union had attained an enviable height in the world of industrial relations, for which the Ministry of Health sees it as an exemplary union which defends quality public health services, by fighting for decent work, and promoting trade union rights for all health workers.

According to him, this position had led to the lessening of the need for skilled health workers to migrate, while increasing the quality of public health services within Ghana.

The Deputy Health Minister further said that as a union which won the Public Service International (PSI) Quality Public Service Award for 2010, having emerged as the best in the world of work, on account of its energising drive towards the improvement of the working and living conditions of its members, it was an elation to be associated with its 10th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference.

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