NURSES at the Ridge hospital in Accra yesterday declared an indefinite strike following the non-payment of their March salary by the Controller and Accountant-General’s department (CAGD).
The 556 nurses at the hospital are protesting what they described as unfair and discriminatory treatment the CAGD omission of paying their March salary whilst all other medical staffs at the hospital received their salary.
As a result of the strike, no patient was admitted at the Out-Patient Department (OPD) yesterday except only emergency cases were attended to by the doctors and some skeletal nurses.
When Ghanaian Times visited the hospital in the afternoon, most of the departments were locked and patients that turned up for treatment were referred to other hospitals.
Mr. Emmanuel Taadi, Head of Administration at the hospital, in an interview, noted that the strike action seriously affected operations at the hospital since the nurses were integral to the hospital.
He explained that since May 2014, all staff were electronically migrated onto the Electronic Staff Voucher which all heads of department must validate and verify their payrolls on the system before CAGD would issue payments of the salaries.
Mr. Taadi said, this system, since its introduction, had worked perfectly until last month when unfortunately all the nurses were omitted in the March payroll.
According to him, the nurses were demanding a supplementary payroll from the CAGD to rectify the anomaly which the head of human resource at the hospital drew the attention of the CAGD.
He said the officials at the CAGD said the only thing they could do would be to pay both their March and April salary this month, since any preparation of supplementary payroll may affect and delay other government workers salaries this month.
Mr. Taadi said the leadership of the nurses met the CAGD on this matter and they were told of the same challenge by the department.
He said management of the hospital met with the nurses to rescind their decision when they served notice last Friday of their intended strike yesterday.
Mr. Taadi mentioned an emergency meeting would be held this morning and hopefully the nurses would call off their strike.
By Joseph Edu Archison