Ghana: Health Service Workers in Western, Western north Threaten Industrial Action

12 December 2019

The Health Service Workers Union (HSWU) in the Western and Western North regions have threatened to lay down their tools, if their condition of service is not improved.

The Union lamented over the state of their Collective Agreement (CA) and their placement under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), and criticized management for arbitrariness, hinting an industrial action, if the situation continued.

The HSWU issued the threat in a resolution concerning unresolved issues affecting members at a meeting held at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi-Takoradi on Tuesday.

The resolution recalled that the health agencies and facilities under Ministry of Health and the HSWU of TUC Ghana together with the employer and employees, on December 11, 2015, signed a CA in accordance with Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).

It said the CA took precedence over any other existing collective agreement and was to take effect from January 1, 2016, but, had been implemented partially, "largely because it is paid from IGF instead of Consolidated Fund."

It said: "Market premium which is a percentage of our basic salary paid to us has since 2012 not seen corresponding increase; this arbitrary action by our employer is very discriminatory compared to other public servants who earn market premium and has actually reduced our percentage drastically. This unfortunate action is at variance with the spirit and letter of SSSS."

The resolution said: "At the time of migrating us onto the SSSS due to the absence of a regulatory council some of us were not properly placed, thankfully we have Act 857 which has given birth to Regulatory Council but still the distortion has not been corrected.

"Analogous grades have been placed on the same placement on first engagement as they earn promotion culminating in the placements of some allied health grades being placed lower since 2012."

The HSWU explained that the SSSS entailed incremental notches, but, claimed that, a large segment of its members had not experienced it ever since they were migrated, saying that this had resulted "in the deprivation of our yearly increment without any reasonable justification."

The resolution said they work together with other staff to provide a successful treatment in a hospital, from medical assessments and daily treatment to medication and catering, however, employees who were classified non-clinicians have suffered discrimination.

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