General News of Thursday, 25 April 2013
The Ghana Medical Association has stated that they will only end their strike if the government assures them of payment of their arrears in a written commitment.
The statement said “the GMA expressed the willingness to call off the strike in totality and resume work fully if the government commits itself to a signed document instructing controller and accountant general to restore the payment of conversion difference and refund arrears with a payment schedule”.
Below is the full statement by the GMA
It will be recalled that doctors in public service stepped up their withdrawal of services to include emergency services from Monday, 22nd April, 2013.
This has led to numerous appeals from well-meaning Ghanaians to both the GMA and government to expedite the negotiations leading to an agreement that will be acceptable to both sides for doctors to resume work fully.
In a meeting held at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on Friday, 19th April, 2013, it was established that indeed the doctors were paid conversion difference for several months with the implementation of the Single Salary Spine Structure.
This was however unilaterally suspended by the government and amounts already paid, subsequently recovered. The meeting was adjourned with the understanding that the ministers of health and employment were to seek mandate for the restoration and refund of arrears of conversion difference.
In a related meeting on Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 with the minister of health, she informed the GMA that the payment of the conversion difference to doctors is no more in contention and appealed to doctors to restore emergency services in the interim.
However, the GMA expressed the willingness to call off the strike in totality and resume work fully if the government commits itself to a signed document instructing controller and accountant general to restore the payment of conversion difference and refund arrears with a payment schedule.
It is worth noting that restoration of the conversion difference automatically corrects the reduced pensions. It must be reiterated that the doctors are waiting for ONLY this written commitment letter from government to resume work fully.
Doctors are neither demanding for immediate payment nor one lump sum payment of the conversion difference. Nothing short of this commitment will make us go back to work.
The GMA will like to state emphatically that we will jealously guard the salaries and pensions of doctors in the public sector. Any delay in the resolution of the issue and subsequent resumption of work by doctors should be laid at the doorstep of government.
Signed: Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei (president) Dr Frank Serebour (General Secretary)