General News of 2013-12-16

If we strike, blame Fair Wages Commission - GMA warns

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has accused the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and (FWSC) of a deliberate attempt to push public sector doctors into another strike action in order to incur the displeasure of the public.

It says however that in the event of any strike action, it is the implementers of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) that should be blamed and not doctors.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi Monday, GMA President, Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei said much as the doctors have not made any decision yet on a strike, they would advise themselves when they were pushed to the wall.

He said the failure of the FWSC to abide by rulings of the National Labour Commission (NLC) in respect of payment of conversion difference for doctors was a clear testimony that “They wanted us to go on strike in order to incur public displeasure.”

Explaining the position of GMA, Dr Opoku-Adusei said even though the NLC had made two rulings directing the FWSC to restore and pay the doctors’ conversion difference, the FWSC had refused to act on the directive.

”It appears they (FWSC) do not respect rule of the law, and that the only language they know is strike.”

In April, 2013, doctors went on a month-long strike to press home demands for the payment of their conversion difference resulting from the implementation of the SSSS. They restored their services on May 8 in compliance with the NLC directive.

The GMA president expressed concern that even though the association had honoured its side of the directives from the NLC, the FWSC had deliberately refused to oblige.

Dr Opoku-Adusei who was recently retained as GMA president for a second term, also spoke about the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund and said there was the need for deeper explanation to bring doctors to terms with the deal.

He said public sector workers need assurance from the Social Security and National insurance Trust (SSNIT) that their contributions were safe with them.