Korle-Bu TEWU Strikes

Prof Ernest Aryeetey
Members of the Teachers Educational Workers’ Union, (TEWU) of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana Medical School at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, have threatened an indefinite strike, if management does not pay their interim market premium owed them since last year.

According to them, the premium, which is an allowance for staff calculated according to basic salary, has not been paid despite a series of meetings with the management and directive from the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).

The Korle-Bu TEWU accused the management of the school of paying only the staff of the Dental Clinic, but the rest of the staff were told to hold on while it (management) sought interpretation of the directive from the FWSC which stated that management should pay the clinical staff and others their allowances.

‘They are just trying to buy time, and we can no longer wait,’ one of the staff said in an interview with DAILY GUIDE.

The group organized a demonstration last year concerning the non-payment of the allowance, but rescinded their decision after talks with management over the issue.

Sulemana Abdul Karim, Chairman of the Korle-Bu TEWU, said since the meeting with management last year, it (management) had failed to abide by the agreed date for the payment to be made to the staff.

‘When the issue cropped up, a committee set up by the management and the leadership of the group met with the FWSC and agreed for the arrears to be paid by February this year,’ he explained.

Mr. Abdul Karim said that the committee asked the group to provide the necessary documents to facilitate the payment of the allowances but had refused to act on the document received to facilitate the payment.

‘The management has received the documents since February but the committee has not been called to work ever since; instead they have selected a few people and have paid them,’ he said.

Mr. Karim pointed out that he and his colleagues would withhold their services till they hear something positive from management.

Ama Kwaa, Registrar of the College, expressed dissatisfaction over the behaviour of the group, who according to her, had vandalized properties of the College in their protest for their allowances.

‘They have deflated the tyres of my vehicle and broken the glass doors of the College and the door of my office,’ she maintained.

Mrs. Kwaa, said the issue had gone beyond the authority of the institution, adding that the University and the FWSC were handling it.

She said the College’s decision to extend the allowance to only clinical staff was taken at managerial level based on the fact that the allowance was meant for staff in the clinical department, ‘and since we have hospitals that deal with clinical issues, we decided to pay the clinical staff; but they don’t understand.’

‘We are waiting for the FWSC to decide on the issue,’ she said.

 By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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