The Ministry of Health has said it will resolve the concerns of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) to avert their impending nationwide strike.
For the mortuary workers, the strike which will begin on Tuesday is their last resort to compel the Ministry of Health to among others, review their salaries upward and working hours.
Speaking to Citi News, PRO of the Ministry, Elorm Ametepe indicated that his outfit is set to meet with the group on Monday to iron out the issues.
“We had a meeting with the executives of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana and they agreed to meet us on Monday. But they did not show up so we tried getting in touch with the executives and the leader came to the office on Friday. And we agreed that the meeting should be held next week so we are negotiating with them.”
“I want to assure them that the Ministry is not sitting down idle. We have and continue to work to make sure that all the staff are comfortable and continue to work so they will not be left out. Whatever the problem is we will see how we can resolve them.”
The impending strike by the workers come three months after mortuary workers in the country threatened to embark on a similar strike over poor working conditions.
The General Secretary of MOWAG, Richard Kofi Jordan, told Citi News his members would only return upon a considerable deal from the Ministry of Health and the Labour Union.
“We are talking about poor sanitation, maintenance of the various facilities which has been neglected by authorities, working more than 24 hours which is against the labour laws. Our rights have been violated, some of us work on holidays when we are supposed to rest. We are not being given holiday allowances.”
The workers say the decision comes on the back of neglect and unresponsiveness by the Ministry of Health to their concerns.
“We struggle to get protective clothing. Even with salary rise, we are at the bottom of the structure. So on Tuesday, it is going to be an indefinite strike. We are not coming to the mortuary until something concrete and positive is communicated to us,” he added.
The workers indicated that they are overworked and not paid for their overtime services.
Among their complaints, the association said most of the workers were employed as casual workers, and their jobs are not guaranteed.
“Most of us have been employed as casual and temporary workers in violation of section 74 and 75 of Act 651, which does not guarantee job security especially in the environment in which they work.”
“In terms of remuneration, it is unfortunate to state that Mortuary workers are treated as most unrecognized in the sector and for that matter, least paid on the salary structure of Ministry of Health with no single allowance”, they said.
By: Marian Ansah & Nii Armah| citinewsroom.com| Ghana