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General News of Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Source: Graphic Online

GMA warns: Fight to get conversion difference not over

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has served notice it will, in due time, respond appropriately and “in equal measure” to the conduct of the National Labour Commission which it blames for a court ruling on Tuesday, denying GMA members the payment of conversion difference.

The Accra Fast Track High Court after a judicial review quashed a directive by the NLC for the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to pay doctors a conversion difference.

However, according to Dr. Justice Yankson, Deputy General Secretary of the GMA, not only did the NLC fail to defend its decision that the doctors deserved the payment of conversion difference and its directive for the FWSC to pay same, it also failed to put in an appearance.

“This ruling, yes it’s been made but for us the Ghana Medical Association, we don’t even have any cause to worry at all. The issues are simple - my pension is still being reduced. In law, it is wrong, government has to fix it, government hasn’t fixed it so I will demand that it’s corrected. The other bit is that it’s sad, you know it’s sad, it’s sad when you have a situation where you have a whole state, the Republic of Ghana actually hire private lawyers, external solicitors you may call them, …they sue the National Labour Commission, the title of the case is so simple – The Republic vs. The National Labour Commission – ex-parte GMA, Fair Wages… and it’s sad when you look at what has been done. And that is why for us the Ghana Medical Association we say at the appropriate time we’re going to respond, and respond in equal measure.”

Dr. Justice Yankson who was speaking to Citi FM was vehement in his protestations that the GMA failed to defend its own case, saying the Labour Commission should have defended its decision to award GMA members the conversion difference, defined by the FWSC as the difference between the salary of a job holder overpaid on a previous salary structure and his current salary under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) in order not to make him or her worse off.

He said the court may have spoken, however, as citizens, members of the GMA deserve to speak and “when matters come to a head, we will see how we will resolve them.”

Head of Legal Services at the FWSC, Mr. Augustine Ahaney who expressed satisfaction with the court’s ruling also told Citi FM that the Commission was convinced the GMA did not deserve the conversion difference at all hence its decision to go to court to get the NLC’s directive quashed.

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