You are here: HomeNewsRegions2019 07 12Article 762739

Regional News of Friday, 12 July 2019

Source: Ananpansah B Abraham

West Gonja Hospital nurses call off strike

Nurses at the West Gonja Catholic Hospital in Damongo, the Savannah regional capital have called off their over-week-long sit-down strike after several appeals.

The nurses and health workers who were hesitant to reconsider their strike action eventually paid heed to an appeal from the District Health Directorate to resume full duties whilst steps are being taken to address their grievances.

The nurses and health workers after a general meeting, resolved to call off their industrial action, noting that,"....the services that were suspended i.e. passing of intravenous lines, taking of sample to the laboratory and catheterization have been restored".

Nurses and health workers at the West Gonja Hospital declared a sit-down strike on 1st July 2019, following what they described, failure by management to meet their demand for improved working conditions.

They justified their action with what they christened, 'failure by management to meet their demanded "negotiable 10% of basic salary as monthly allowances" starting from January 2019, for which reason an earlier intended strike was called off.

The nurses and health workers under the leadership of the local branches of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association(GRNMA) and the Health Service Workers Union(HSWU) have also tendered a petition demanding the immediate resignation of Mr.Remy Nyewie as Health Service Administrator and Rev. Sr. Mary Zaagbeb as the Nurse Manager over what they conceive the duos "poor interpersonal relationship with workers, abuse of office & verbal abuse of staff, poor leadership skills inter alia".

An ensuing official letter dated,3rd July,2019, admonished the Health Service Administrator and Nurse Manager to stay away from work starting Monday 8th July 2019, adding that, "We would be compelled to lock up your offices if you do not willingly stay away from office".

In a startling turn of events however, some disgruntled nurses of the hospital revealed in a counter petition that, they were misled, deceived and misinformed into appending their signatures to the petition from the local branches of the GRNMA and the HSWU demanding the removal from office of the Health Service Administrator and the Nurse Manager.

They said they were flimflammed by union leaders into signing the petition to indicate their support for a negotiable 10% of their basic salary as monthly allowance only to realise their collated signatures were being used under mysterious conditions to demand the removal of the Administrator and the Nurse manager and to "cover up their ungodly acts".

They further hold the view that their fundamental human rights and dignity have been trampled upon, calling on My Lord Bishop, as the owner of the hospital to as a matter of urgency come to their aid so that the hospital can continue with the Healing Ministry of Christ.

Msgr. Tawoni Augustine, the Vica General of the Diocese of Damongo in a management meeting with the nurses urged them to remain calm,adding that,the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the hospital, Most Rev. Peter Paul Angyier, who has the power to direct all affairs in the hospital was currently out of the country attending to other equally important official duties.

Meanwhile, Ghanaweb's Ananpansah B Abraham has gathered that a total cash sum of GHC146,800 has been disbursed to clear Diocesan Allowance owed nurses from the year 2013 to 2018, with 2019 still in arrears.

The Diocesan Allowance was instituted in the year 2012.

On promotions and study leave for nurses, in 2014; out of staff strength of 34, two were promoted and 15 went on study leave. In 2015; out of 26 nurses, nine were duly promoted whilst 12 went for further studies. In 2016, 55 nurses were at post, six got promotion whilst nine went for further studies. In 2017, the hospital had 75 nurses at post, seven got promotion and four went on study leave. In 2018, the staff-nurse strength was 78; out of which four were on study leave and two had promotion and in 2019; 115 nurses are currently at post, out of which 19 have so far being promoted, seven are on study leave and about 17 nurses have been processed for study leave awaiting admission.