Regional News of Wednesday, 6 February 2013
The Volta Regional Division of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has supported the decision of its national executive to resort to an industrial action over “anomalies” associated with the placement of its members on the Single Spine Salary Structure.
This position was contained in a statement signed by Dr Kofi Gafatsi Normanyo, Divisional Chairman and Dr Anthony Ashinyo, Divisional Secretary made available to the GNA on Tuesday.
“We crave the indulgence of government and all stakeholders to quickly move and resolve these bottlenecks in the health sector to ensure smooth operations in our work and make the health sector healthy.
“We painfully embark on strikes but we fully back the road map and are ready for the consequences,” the 26-line statement said.
It said at the GMA-Volta Division meeting held last Saturday, members noted with dismay the long time it was taking the National Labour Commission (NLC) to resolve the issue which had been before it since May 2012.
The statement said the matter “cannot continue ad infinitum” when by the NLC’s own statutes in “cases involving essential services ought to be handled and disposed off within a matter of hours; and doctors are regarded as one of those offering essential services”.
The Volta-GMA said whereas under the previous pay structure of the doctor’s “extra-duty hours were part of the basic pay”, the SSSS had decoupled it.
“This has resulted in a reduction in basic pay, the basis of Social Security payment for doctors.
“Because the basic pay has been reduced, Social Security payments have also reduced, putting doctors at a disadvantage after a life’s work,” the statement said.
It complained against the “nebulous” doctors’ somewhat extra-duty hours was captured as part of the market premium “which is made to have no influence on Social Security payment….”
The statement said it disagreed with the manner in which pay for work done over extra-long periods by doctors, recognized under the previous pay regime is slashed off under the SSSS as overpayment.
It added, the “worse of it” every attempt “is being made to remove this at a go contrary to government’s own white paper”.