General News of Sunday, 9 August 2015

Source: citifmonline.com

Doctors’ strike: Timing of Mahama’s comment wrong – Labour analyst

A labour consultant Francis Kofi Davour has chastised President John Mahama for openly stating government’s position on the grievances of the striking doctors.

The doctors have laid down their tools because of government’s inability to provide them with conditions of service, months after providing government with their proposal.

Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, Kofi Davor explained that the Labour Act states clearly how such issues must be addressed.

“… The rules are very clear in these matters. The law simply says that the doctor is an essential service, if they have a problem it should be dealt in within three days by the employer. If the employer cannot deal with it, the National Labour Commission must summon them to a compulsory arbitration, where an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators meet and make a decision, the matter is resolved. That is as simple as that. You may refer to section 162 of the labour Act.”

He insisted that if the processes had been followed “the doctors will have no business embarking on any strike.”

“Unfortunately, because the rules have not been followed, everybody is talking about the matter; politicians, party activists including those who do not know the business of negotiations are talking about it. As to whether the doctors demand are high or not for me it’s a matter for the negotiation parties to engage on,” he added.

President Mahama in responding to the doctors’ demand said he will not bow to any pressure to release salaries or allowances that had not been captured in the budget.

According to Mr. Davor “though in substance, the President was right in what he said, the forum and the timing was wrong, its bad faith.”

“If you are negotiating with me, you don’t go on a public platform and disclose what you are going to do when you come to the table, you breach trust. So in substance, what the president said will be said at the table by the people representing the, employer that is government. It’s a principle of negotiations, you don’t go to the court of public opinion to present your issues there. Its bad faith,” he added.