We can’t pay ‘unbudgeted’ premiums – Gov’t to Pharmacists

Government has told the striking Government and Hospitals Pharmacists (GHOSPA), that it cannot heed to their demands for an upgraded market premium this year.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, said this today [Wednesday], at a press conference in Accra.

The government hospital pharmacists laid down their tools two days ago demanding an upgrade in their market premiums.

But the Minister said government cannot review the premiums upward because there is no budget for it.“Let me take this opportunity to appeal to GHOSPA to return back to work to engage government further; and that there is a commitment by government to engage them further on matters relating to [their] market premiums. There is little that can be done because it was not budgeted for in the 2016 budget, therefore  government is unable to accede to their request.”

He however said they can “negotiate and have an understanding of matters relating to its implementation in the future.”

“On matters of grading, they compared themselves to analogous structures within the Ghana Health Service that is being examined, and a sub-committee has completed some work  which has been forwarded to the grievances committee of the fair wages and salaries commission for examination and report to me for action. So on that note; I would want to persuade the striking pharmacists to be guided by the implications of their action on human lives,” Mr. Iddrisu added.

About a month ago, the Minister also turned down demands by the Civil and Local Government Staff Association for similar reasons, but signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them for future implementation of their demands.

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