General News of Monday, 8 April 2013
Head of Public Affairs of the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC) has hit back at the medical doctors saying ‘if they still claim to have a case, they should take it to the Higher Court’.
Mr. Earl Ankrah was reacting to the strike action of the Ghana Medical Association, beginning Monday, April 8, 2013.
The strike action by the doctors follows refusal by government to pay members current market premium on 2012 basic salaries, contrary to the ruling of the National Labour Commission (NLC).
The doctors, however, will be attending to patients already on admission and offer emergency services till April 14, 2013.
According to Earl Ankrah, “The issues on the table is the market premium arrears from 2012 – Fair Wages and Salary Commission invited them and all other groups that have benefited from the Market premium arrears from 2012 and they (GMA) said they wanted to be taken out of that group and treated separately.The National Labour Commission granted them that. We went ahead and drew our schedule of payment, which the other groups accepted…later GMA said they were not satisfied with that schedule but NLC asked them to abide by the schedule; only to wake up this morning to hear that they are on strike”
Speaking to Kwami Sefa-Kayi in an interview on Peace FM, Mr Ankrah said the commission has done all in its power to solve the issues; the rest lies in the jurisdiction of the NLC.
“For the best of our knowledge, we have played our role and we have done our job and it is up to them to go forward if they disagree with them…this should no longer be FWSC issue but a national issue. We believe that if they still claim to have a case, they should take it to the Higher Court because NLC is an institution mandated by law in this country to handle labour issues and so if that body has ruled and the doctors throw that ruling out of the window and we are going to deprive the tax payer of their services, then that is between them and the NLC” he said.
Earl Ankrah described the action of the doctors as unfair especially to the tax payers because according to him, the doctors have already been paid (with tax payers money) for the month of March.
“This is a little stretch by the doctors and it is totally unfair to the tax payers. This is not a crisis issue at all. It is a matter of simple understanding. Let us not create this animosity between us…Doctors and university teachers have bullied this country in the past and each time they make that noise, we say we are scared because people are going to die and so let’s shut our eyes, mouth and give them whatever they want. We are going to be principled, we are going to be firm and we are not going to be bullied by any group”, he indicated.