The COLA brawl: UPNMG and GRNMA must work together

UPNMG Many unions in the country are demanding their Cost of Living Allowance

Fri, 8 Jul 2022 Source: Raphael Kumah Abolasom

There is no doubt that, the Nursing front has over the week experienced some needless tensions over Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

Frankly, I have been trying so hard to avoid commenting on union wars: but it’s necessary to piece this together for readers.

There is the need to correct the erroneous impression that a “bargaining certificate” belongs to a single association of a professional class. This is not the position of the labor regulations! It does not belong to an association; rather it belongs to a class of professions. For the avoidance of doubt, this is what Labour Regulations 2007, LI 1833, section 10 ( 1) says :

Collective bargaining certificate

10. (1) Where it comes to the notice of the Chief Labour Officer that there exists more than one trade union in an undertaking, representing the same class of employees, the Chief Labour Officer shall invite the unions to a meeting to undertake verification to determine which union is to be issued with a bargaining certificate, except that the union issued with the certificate shall consult or where appropriate invite other unions in the course of negotiations to participate in the negotiation process.

The key word here is “shall consult”. The word “shall” in this context, implies mandatory, compulsion and not discretionary!

But has the Union with the bargaining certificate respected this provision? Obviously No!

The essence of having a bargaining certificate is to ensure that the best interest of the professional class is very well espoused, elaborated and advanced. Bargaining certificates are not meant for decorating offices nor used for fomenting bragging rights. If you have a bargaining certificate, yet could lose close to 30,000 members within a spate of two (2) years , it should tell you that, your are definitely and obviously doing something not far from wrong !

GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT among others have constantly worked together to advance the welfare of their members. Why can’t the two (2) major Nursing Unions bury their differences and work together and desist from having to use “bargaining certificates" as a preamble to almost all Press Releases! It’s too petty.

Free advice, opposing elements should leave UPNMG alone, it cannot be stopped! It simply cannot be stopped!!! Everyone must know that, the new Union, UPNMG has come to stay and it will be in the best interest of the pioneer union to focus on its mandate. We must all admit that we cannot all belong to one association, it just can’t happen anymore!

There’s a trend that those opposed to the progress of UPNMG have either not observed or deliberately ignored or refused to admit. And thus, the more any opposing association tries to discredit UPNMG, the more they commit unpardonable blunders; they simply misfire and that’s shameful!

The UPNMG is ever ready to collaborate with other nursing Unions, but this cannot be achieved when there’s a grossly difficult posture emanating from the other side.

I would encourage the UPNMG to keep fighting for the welfare of its members as it is always done. Just a reminder, a couple of months ago, a recommendation was made for the bargaining certificate of another Union to be given to the Medical Laboratory Professional Worker’s Union ( MELPWU) and it won’t be the last!

No one should feel too lousy and comfortable with the possession of a bargaining certificate; trust me it’s just temporary!

Columnist: Raphael Kumah Abolasom