There may be labour unrest in the health sector soon as Medical Doctors and Dentists have served notice that they will embark on strike if the government fails to implement their signed Conditions of Service immediately.
A Ghana Medical Association (GMA) internal memo sighted by Citi News directed all members to withdraw all services in all facilities if the government fails to meet their demands by January 29, 2020.
The internal memo, dated February 21, 2020, and jointly signed by President of GMA, Dr. Frank Ankobea and General Secretary, Dr. Justice Yankson said that although the implementation date for the signed Conditions of Service document was 1st January 2020 as agreed by all parties, the government had failed to meet the deadline.
“The Association has accordingly given the government up to Saturday, 29th February 2020 to ensure full implementation (including payment of all occasioned arrears) of the CoS document at both the National and facility levels. If any default on the part of Government occurs Vis-à-vis the stated deadline, there shall be immediate withdrawal of all services by members in all facilities,” the internal memo warned.
The National Executive Committee of the Medical Association said it also observed that during the validation of February salaries, there was the absence of fuel allowance on the payslips of members; and urged members to put all discrepancies on notice for rectification.
In separate letters addressed to the Ministers for Health, and Employment and Labour Relations, the Association expressed grave concern over the development.
Both letters said the Conditions of Service document implementation has not taken place both at the National and facility levels despite numerous calls on Government to do so.
The Medical Association thus requested for the immediate facilitation of the Ministers to forestall an industrial action.
Previous strikes to demand codified conditions of service
The Ghana Medical Association in July 2015 embarked on a 3-week strike over the absence of a codified condition of service.
They were demanding a signed document detailing a number of entitlements to be given to them as part of their conditions of service.
Part of their demands included 40% of basic salaries as accommodation allowance per month, 20% as core duty facilitation allowance, 30% clothing allowance, 20% maintenance allowance, 20% utility allowance, 50% as professional allowance and 25% special risk allowance and vehicle tax exemption to doctors.
They called off the strike to return to the negotiation table after several appeals from many Ghanaians including members of the clergy.
The Conditions of Service was finally signed between the association and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission in November 2019.