The leadership of the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA), has asked government to, as a matter of urgency, address their demands for equal salary payment to all pharmacists working in the public sector.
The association has also described as discriminatory, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission’s ( FWSC) refusal to implement the arbitration rules on their Single Spine Pay Policy as directed by the National Labour Commission.
Mr. Raymond Tetteh, an executive member of the association, told The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, that GHOSPA members had become frustrated and would want to believe that the FWSC held a beef against them.
“We don’t understand why the Commission has refused to go by the directive from government for the past four years, but have implemented the same directives for other public institutions,” he said adding that the leadership was gradually losing control of its members since they were beginning to lose confidence in them.
“After four years of negotiations on a pay policy for about 600 pharmacists serving in public hospitals across the country, we are still in a stalemate and if government doesn’t show commitment to the issue then it means, we are destroying the country,” he said.
Mr. Tetteh said the issue, if not addressed, would pose a threat to the health sector since pharmacists working in other government health institutions were remunerated better than those working under the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and the teaching hospitals.
He said GHOSPA had still not obtained any response or received a communiqué from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health which promised to look into the matter.
“We are hoping for the best results and believe that our concerns on the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP), which are long overdue, will be addressed in no time”, he said.
He, however, stated that the association will on next week Monday hold a meeting to discuss their next line of action.
GHOSPA has for the past three weeks withdrawn extra services such as out-patient duties, night duties, weekend and holiday services, and threatened a total strike if their concerns were not addressed.
It is recalled that negotiations on the arbitration of the policy began four years ago with government, through the National Labour Commission, over the implementation of the SSPP, after which government formed a Cabinet sub-Committee to have a new look at the policy.
Last year, the then Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, directed the Finance Ministry to develop a strategy to resolve the problem.
The GHOSPA went to the National Labour Commission for arbitration on their salaries, but the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission failed to implement the decisions.
By Linda Aryeetey