The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has appealed to the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) to call off its strike and come to the negotiation table for deliberations.
He said government cannot address their grievances while the strike was ongoing as entrenched under the Labour Law and, therefore, advised the executives of GHOSPA to return to work.
“In the Labour Law, you cannot be on strike while negotiating with government, since it would be an unfair labour practice, and I believe that they should respect government as the employer, and they should be guided by the fact that they are providing essential services which are critical,” he said.
The minister, who made the appeal on Wednesday at a press conference in Accra, said government would be ready to have a discussion when GHOSPA called off its strike in order to address their demands.
He said although the National Labour Commission had filed an application seeking the court to order GHOSPA to call off its strike, government was unhappy with the strike, since their action had serious implication on patients.
“I’m appealing to GHOSPA to restore full services to help save lives since their demands could be restored but lives lost cannot be replaced,” he said.
Mr. Iddrisu said government was committed to negotiate with the pharmacists although their demands regarding market premium were not factored in the 2016 budget but was hopeful that with better negotiation their grievance could be resolved amicably.
He said government was committed to improving the living conditions of medical practitioners and that any grievances should be dialogued to peacefully.
GHOSPA began an indefinite strike on Monday to press home their demand for balance market premium, a codified condition of service from the Ministry of Health and a review of their grade structure and placement on the Single Spine Salary Structure.
The pharmacies at most public health facilities remained locked with inscriptions expressing their regret due to their employers’ silence to their issues.
By Bernard Benghan