The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) to withdraw its intended strike and appear before it on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
It said the declaration of strike did not follow the due process in the law nor took into consideration Section 162 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), which prescribes the settlement of industrial action involving essential services workers.
“This summons to appear is following the public declaration of withdrawal of services by the spokesperson of the association, directing that effective 8 a.m. today, the following health professionals working with the public health services should withdraw their services — nurses, midwives, physician assistants and certified registered anaesthetists,” a letter from the NLC, signed by the Executive Secretary, Mr Ofosu Asamoah, said.
The NLC last Friday obtained an interlocutory injunction against the GRNMA, restraining it from embarking on the proposed strike, beginning today.
The Accra High Court (Labour Division), presided over by Justice Frank Aboadwe Rockson, ordered the nurses to sit down with the NLC to get their grievances resolved.
“It said the injunction against the strike was for 10 days, and upon its expiration, the applicants are to come back to court on notice,” the statement issued in Accra added.
The GRNMA last Thursday announced its decision to withdraw its services, effective today, to press home its demand for improved conditions of service.
In a statement, the association alleged that the government’s stance during negotiations fell foul of Act 651 of the Labour Law, which deals with issues of good faith and which the association appears to also have an issue with.
The announcement, which was signed by the presidents of the GRNMA, the Ghana Physician Assistants Association and the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anesthetists, directed the public to seek medical attention from other health facilities.
It also gave notification that nurses, midwives, physician assistants and certified registered anaesthetists would withdraw their services from today if the authorities failed to address their concerns.
“Following series of negotiation meetings held with the employer and the posture of same in the ongoing negotiation on the conditions of service of nurses, midwives, physician assistants and certified registered anaesthetists, the GRNMA issued a communique on September 4, 2020 informing the general membership about the posture of the employer, contrary to Provision 97 of the Labour Law 2003 (Act 651).
“A letter dated September 9, 2020 was also served on all stakeholders, informing them about the status of the negotiation and the possible actions of the GRNMA and its allied associations, which are the Ghana Physician Assistants Association and the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anesthetists.
“Having reconvened the meetings held on September 15 and 16, 2020, the posture of the employer changed for the better, but did not meet the expectation of the majority of nurses, midwives, physician assistants and certified registered anaesthetists in Ghana,” it further claimed.