THE National Labour Commission (NLC), has called on the govern-ment and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), to resume negotiations “imme-diately” and report to the commission on Monday, August 24, the progress of the meeting.
It has further directed the GMA, to “immediately” take steps to call off its ongoing strike and return to the hospitals to make way for negotiations to end the protracted labour unrest.
A press statement, issued in Accra and signed by the Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Mrs. Bernice A. Welbeck, said the Commission’s directive was in pursuant to Section 138 (1) (a) of the Labour Act, 2003 which enjoined it “to facilitate the settlement of industrial disputes” in the country.
“The Commission, having heard the parties, (after meeting them on Wednesday, August 19th) appreciates the difficulties of both parties and directs that the GMA should take steps to call off the strike immediately,” the statement said.
The GMA declared a nationwide strike on July 29 initially with the withdrawal of out-patient services and after a week of no results, withdrew services from the emergency wards.
The strike was to demand for proper and documented working conditions, which the government considered as unrealistic.
The Health Minister, Mr. Alexander Segbefia, on Tuesday, issued an ultimatum to the doctors to return to work by yesterday but the directive has not been heeded to by the doctors.
The doctors in a rather sharp rebuttal, said they were unmoved by the ultimatum given by the minister.
A statement signed by the General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson, said “our position is simple, no Conditions of Service, no work. Deadline or no deadline, we will only go back to the workplace when our Conditions of Service are duly negotiated and signed”.