Ghanaian Doctors’ Strike: Gov’t Yet To Reach Agreement With Doctors

Ghana's Health Minister, Alex Segbefia.
Ghana’s Health Minister, Alex Segbefia.

Government has denied reports in the public domain that it has agreed to pay 50% of doctors salaries as their professional allowance.

Government’s reaction comes on the back of speculations attributed to Accra based Joy Fm which indicated that “government has accepted to pay 50% of basic salary per month as the professional allowance.”

The report went on further to state that “the demand for 25% of basic salary per month on special risk allowance was also accepted” amongst other agreements supposedly arrived at in a meeting between government and the striking doctors.

In a statement signed by the Health Minister, Alex Segbefia, government said it had “agreed that the implementation of these allowances be deferred until after all public sector workers have been migrated on to the Single Spine Salary Structure.”

Medical doctors have embarked on a strike across the country over their conditions of service which some have described as ‘outrageous’.

The strike which is nearing two weeks, is reported to have claimed some lives at some government facilities with many pleading with them to get back to work whiles negotiation with government continues.

President Mahama has categorically stated that he would not approve of any extra financing for government workers and all workers on the Single Spine pay structure if it is not captured in the budget.

The position of the president has intensified public debate about the legitimacy of the doctors’ strike and  the seeming entrenched position taken by the president.

Below is the full statement from government.

Government has described as false a JoyFM news report claiming that Government has agreed to pay Members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), 50% of their basic salary as Professional Allowance.

As was stated in an earlier statement by the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) is already involved in a universal discussion of Category 2 & 3 allowances. The Ho Forum had agreed that the implementation of these allowances be deferred until after all public sector workers have been migrated on to the Single Spine Salary Structure.

A number of demands contained in the GMA’s proposal fall under Category 2 and 3 and can therefore not be discussed between the Government and the GMA alone.

Government wishes to restate that the negotiation of such allowances at the level of the PSJSNC is not negotiable. Any action to the contrary will seriously destroy the successful implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy, which has and continues to have huge financial implications for the taxpayer.

We have remained committed to the negotiation process with the GMA and Organized Labour with the view to ensuring a harmonious and productive working environment in Ghana. This commitment underpins the latest meeting with the Ghana Medical Association, which took place today, Sunday August 09, 2015.

Government wishes to remind the GMA that the on-going strike is a violation of the Labour Act of 2003, (Act 651), which requires that parties to negotiation should not embark on lockout or strike.

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