An offshoot of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwifery Association (GRNMA) in the Upper West Region, has called on the GRNMA to with immediate effect, halt the automatic addition of members to the group.
The group, known Concerned Nurses, has also asked that the association to desist from what they termed “illegal deduction of dues from their salaries”.
The members of the association made known their concerns in an interview with the Ghanaian Times here at Wa on Wednesday.
The Convenor, Mr Samuel Piue Lasir, decried excessive charges by the association, with which they had not even registered or signed any agreement note to belong to.
“According to the Labour Act,every worker has the right to join any trade union of their choice and the GRNMA Act clearly stipulates that before one becomes a member, the fellow will have to fill and submit an enrolment form to be signed by the President and General Secretary in order to be recognised as a member, but in practice, this is not so; the moment you start working and attain your pin, without consenting to any membership agreement or being given any education on the existence of the GRNMA, you are added to it and deductions begin on your salaries,” he said.
Mr Lasir explained that the deductions comprised two per cent of the staff’s salary as dues, GH₵20 as building levy and GH₵50 as contribution towards the nurse’s fund, which served as the tier-three for the members of the association, adding that a staff could lose aboutGH₵120 of their salary every month to such deductions.
Mr Lasir said such compulsory illegal deductions had left some affected nurses with negative net income and expressed that he did not understand why “an association that was intended to protect the rights and welfare of its members would resort to such dubious means to rob them of their salaries without due recourse to their survival”.
The leader of the concerned group, therefore, appealed to the GNRMA to revoke the automatic membership policy which was an affront to the association’s own operating framework, and also halt the deductions of dues from the members, so that they could freely join other professional groups related to their field.
Mr Lasir also requested of the association to explain the component of the Tier- three contribution which has been tagged as ‘Nurses’ Fund,’ to its members.
For her part, an affected nurse at the Billaw Health Centre at the Lambussie District, Ms Catherine Zile, complained that she left the system without her knowledge and was reinstated by the association, adding that “the month I was reinstated, the arrears were taken from my salary and since my salary was not enough, I was left with a negative net income. That means I am still owing them and it will be taken from my next month’s salary.”
She chastised the association for neglecting the welfare of its members and said they were only interested in squeezing money out of them.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA