Nurses, midwives disregard strike over unpaid salaries
Some regional and national executives of the Coalition of Unpaid Nurses and Midwives, have withdrawn their support in the ongoing strike by their members.
Leaders of the group numbering about 7,000 nurses, in a press statement on Tuesday, announced an indefinite nationwide strike from today [Wednesday], to demand their unpaid salaries.
According to a National Coordinator of the Coalition, Douglas Adu-Fokuo, they have had to resort to the action because of the refusal of government to honor its pledge to pay them.
But in a Citi News interview with Theophilus Kwadzo Doe, the Volta Regional Coordinator and a National Coordinator, he said the ongoing strike is not a collective decision.
He said following their earlier strikes to drum home their demands for the payment of arrears and allowances, an agreement was reached, during which government said they were to be paid after their validation by the Ministry of Health.
He added that government has since been disbursing salaries of certified nurses and the coalition has been playing its part by submitting records of certified members.
“My concern is that, we have a road-map that we have not exhausted, and so I do not see the need for a strike action now. The road-map was that you pick salary arrears forms, you submit, they validate and pay you. We have witnessed the validation process to a point. Some people have not been but others have. What we are doing now is to the get the number of people that were validated against the number of people that were paid. From there, we now push our case forward for the payment of those who were validated but not paid,” he explained.
He said the decision by one of the three National Coordinators to unilaterally declare an industrial action was unfortunate and uncalled for.
Theophilus Kwadzo Doe thus dissociated himself from the ongoing strike and encouraged all well-meaning members to remain at post and exercise restraint while “leadership works to resolve our payment issues”.
Meanwhile Citi News checks at the various hospitals across the country revealed that several nurses and midwives were at post attending to patients.