The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has suspended its nationwide strike.
The leadership of the association called off the three-day-old strike today, September 23, 2020, but the health workers are to resume work on Thursday.
The strike was suspended because the leadership of the association said they had officially received a court injunction restraining them from embarking on the industrial action.
The restraining order was secured by the National Labour Commission last Friday but the association still went ahead with the strike claiming it had not been properly served with the court document.
“Yesterday, Tuesday, September 22, 2020, around 4:30 pm, we received notice from the head office administrator that a court bailiff had formally and properly come to the office to serve the injunction on the GRMA and its associates. Because of our respect for the court, we have decided to suspend our strike action with effect from Thursday, September 24, 2020, at 8 am pending the outcome of our negotiations,” President of GRNMA, Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo said at a press conference on Wednesday.
She further cautioned the Ministry of Health against victimizing any of its members.
“At this juncture, we take the opportunity to inform our employment, the Ministry of Health and its agencies and managers of some Ghana Health Service facilities to halt all forms of intimidation tactics towards our members. We want them to know that an attack on any nurse, midwife, is an attack on the fraternity in Ghana. The fact that our employers attempted to incite the courts against us with regards to citing of contempt and subsequently arresting me and the leadership amounts to gross intimidation which is a problem, “she added.
Nurses, midwives, Physician Assistants (PAs) and Anaesthetists (CRAs) in the public sector withdrew their services on Monday, September 21 to demand improved conditions of service.
The strike left many patients stranded nationwide because of the absence of health personnel.
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations asked the striking nurses and midwives to immediately call off the industrial action and avail themselves for negotiations to continue.
The Ministry of Health is hopeful the stalemate between striking nurses and government will be resolved by close of a scheduled negotiation meeting today, Wednesday.
Deputy Health Minister, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye said a decisive action will be made by all stakeholders to reach a consensus at the end of the deliberations.
“As I said, we are very optimistic because when you put about nine items on the table and government directly goes for about seven of them, I think that is a significant step to show that as much as possible, we want to support all the groups that are involved. We must also be frank to ourselves as a country that, it must not be every request that government will hold.”