Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Ofosu Asamoah, has called on the Health Services Workers Union to rescind its decision on its industrial strike action.
According to him, the Commission was not privy to the decision by the union to register its displeasure over conditions of services by laying down their tools. Mr Ofosu explained that instead of being informed by the Union, it“heard on the radio” and “quickly contacted the ministry” on the matter.
In light of this, he urged members of the union leadership to come to the negotiating table in order to lay bare its concerns and grievances.
“We have directed them to call off the strike and appear before the commission to settle the matter… They said they have also heard about it. So, negotiations are ongoing and we’ve asked them to call off the strike and appear before us”.Mr Ofosu Asamoah
The Health Services Workers’ Union on Tuesday October 25, 2021, embarked on an industrial strike action citing unfavourable conditions of service. An earlier meeting with the government to get the union to discontinue its strike proved futile.
Addressing the media, the General Secretary of the Health Services Workers’ Union, Franklin Owusu Ansah, entreated all members to take part in the strike until they receive a favourable response from the government.
“It is not the wish of the union to cause industrial disharmony and disrupt the smooth delivery of health services. But the continuous disregard by the government to respond to our simple request has pushed us to the wall and this far.”Mr Franklin Owusu Ansah
Inconclusive meeting with government
Following this, the Health Services Workers’ Union went into a meeting with the Employment and Labour Ministry to deliberate on ways of resolving the challenges of its members. The outcome of the meeting however, ended inconclusively.
As part of the itinerary for the meeting, members of the union were to engage the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Health Ministry and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to address concerns raised by the workers.
Speaking in an interview, the Deputy Labour Relations Minister, Bright Wireku-Brobbey, revealed that despite the meeting being inconclusive, most of the concerns members of the union raised were addressed. He expressed optimism over members of the union going back to post.
“Something triggered something and that is why they embarked on this action. So, we met them and deliberated, and I think each side is happy and by the rules of engagement, they need to go back to their National Executive Council (NEC). Once everything is settled, they will resume work in the next couple of days and call off this strike”.Mr Bright Wireku-Brobbey
However, the General Secretary of the Health Services Workers’ Union, Franklin Owusu Ansah, has indicated that the strike by the union will remain in effect until negotiations are finalized.
“It is not conclusive, and we want finality on our concerns. But nonetheless, we are going back to our constituents to tell them what has transpired. All that I can say is that we have not concluded yet”.Mr Franklin Owusu Ansah