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Govít Handling Of Labour Issues Is Poor!   
 
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22-Oct-2015  
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Vice President, Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur
 
 
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The Daily Graphic yesterday quoted the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, as saying that the Vice-President, Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, had directed his (Haruna) Ministry and that of Finance to ensure that all un-posted nurses receive their clearance letters to start work, before October 23 this year.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu disclosed this when a group of un-posted nurses, numbering about 150, picketed close to the Flagstaff House in Accra on Monday. According to him, a committee had been set up to address all the challenges relating to the posting of nurses, to prevent future occurrences.

He explained that their postings had been delayed, because the government wanted the financial aspect completed first. On his part, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, said financial clearance had been given to ensure that when posted, they would receive their salaries.

The Chronicle is alarmed that the only language this government understands is demonstration, and until aggrieved workers go on demonstration, their grievances would never be addressed.

It started with the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), state-employed nurses, teachers from the various associations, Ghana Medical Association (GMA), and Trades Union Congress (TUC) among a host of others, who all went on strike or street demonstrations before their grievances were addressed.

The Chronicle does not think this is the proper way of managing state affairs, and, therefore, urges the Mahama government to review its way of addressing national issues.  Persistent street demonstrations and strikes send wrong signals about the country to the outside world. No serious investor would invest in a country that is seen as unstable, and ministers and their deputies know of this bare fact.

As to why they always drag their feet when it comes to negotiations and allow matters to get to boiling point, before rushing to take a hasty decision, remains a conundrum that must be addressed.

In the case under review, the ministers and technocrats working under them knew that the state had bonded the nurses, yet no decision was taken to issue their clearance letters for them to start work and be drawing salaries from the government payroll.   Indeed, if they had not gone to picket in front of the Flagstaff House, no government official would have bothered to address their concerns.


The Chronicle is, therefore, not surprised at the position of the President of the demonstrating nurses, Mr. Geyevo, that they were not satisfied with the response from the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, since “it is not the first time we are hearing this.”

According to him, the leadership of the group had, on three occasions, met and discussed their concerns with the sector minister, but nothing came out of that. “However, since the directive is coming from Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, we will go, but we will return if our clearance letters are not given before the agreed date,” Mr. Geyevo said, adding  that about 5,000 nurses were waiting for their posting letters.

Even in some of the developed countries, nurses are ‘scarce commodities’, yet we have them in abundance and are toying with them.  Hundreds of health posts in the rural areas are crying for nurses to man them, but the state has failed to do so.  In a nutshell, the development on the labour front is not the best, and the earlier the government wakes up from her slumber and does the right things, the better it will be for the entire nation.
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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