A nationwide strike by members of the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) entered its second day today as a stakeholder’s meeting to address the concerns of the workers, ended in a stalemate yesterday.
The meeting between the leadership of the striking workers and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, with the participation of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Health Ministry as well as the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, to address concerns about poor conditions of service, was largely inconclusive.
According to the union, the stalemate leaves them with no option than to continue with the strike, which is so far adversely affecting health service delivery across the country, with many health units in public hospitals, closed.
The union is demanding an immediate review of the conditions of service of its members as agreed upon in 2016, accusing the government of failing to undertake the review, although it had reviewed the service conditions for sister unions on two occasions.
The leadership of the HSWU says the “blatant disregard for the plight of its over 40,000 members” across the country has compelled them to lay down their tools.
Although Bright Wireku-Brobby, Deputy Employment, and Labour Relations Minister, is hopeful that the workers would return to duty as their concerns are being addressed, the leadership of the union maintains their tools would remain laid until their grievances have been addressed satisfactorily
According to the General Secretary of the HSWU, Franklin Owusu Ansah. “the strike is still in force until negotiations are concluded.”
He urged all members to engage in the strike until the union receives a favorable response from the government.
“It is not the wish of the union to cause industrial disharmony and disrupt the smooth delivery of health services, but the continuous disregard by the government to respond to our simple request has pushed us to the wall,” he stressed.