Nurses call off strike after money flows

Psychiatric Nurses and the Coalition of Unpaid Nurses and Midwives have called off their strike.

This follows the payment of salary arrears to the striking psychiatric nurses and a subsequent assurance by government to pay members of the coalition at the end of this month.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the president of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA), Kwaku Asante-Krobea, said the association had impressed upon its members on strike to resume work immediately, as government had promised to pay them.

Government released funds on Wednesday, for the payment of outstanding arrears to psychiatric nurses across the country.

It subsequently called on all striking nurses, including general nurses and midwives, to return to work because plans were far advanced by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department and the Ministry of Finance to pay them.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, who announced this at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, said the payment to the psychiatric nurses was in fulfillment of government’s’ promise to pay the nurses by the end of last month.

About 250 psychiatric nurses across the country, last Thursday began an indefinite strike to compel government to pay their seven to 12 months accumulated salaries.

The nurses were made up of four batches who assumed duty in June 2013, September 2013, April 2014 and May 2014.

Meanwhile, additional 7,900 unpaid nurses, midwives, health assistance and community nurses declared a nationwide strike on Monday to demand their outstanding arrears.

The nurses said they would continue their strike until all their arrears and allowances were paid.

However, Mr. Asante-Krobea stressed the need for the striking nurses to return to work while government worked assiduously to pay them.

According to him, the association will support a full scale resumption of the action if disparities in the payment of the deferred and withheld salaries of its affected members were not addressed as promised.

He, therefore, called on government to, as a matter of urgency, attend to the concerns of nurses in the country with regard to payment of their arrears and salaries as well as employment of newly graduated nurses.

Mr. Asante-Krobea said the association had, earlier reported disparity in the payment made by government on Wednesday and was looking forward to an amicable solution.

He, however, did not hesitate to add that government had listened to its concerns and had promised to fine-tune the solutions to the disparity.

Federick Asare-Darko, one of the spokespersons of the nurses said the nurses were resolute to resume the strike if government did not fulfil its promise.

By Charles Amankwa    


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