Labour Commission secures an injunction stopping nurses, midwives strike

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has secured an interim injunction to restrain the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) from going ahead with its intended strike.

The injunction was obtained at the Labour Division Court 1 of the High Court on Friday, September 18, 2020, and will last for 10 days.

“It is hereby ordered the respondent herein by itself, its executives, officers, members, agents, servants, employees, and other persons are hereby restrained from embarking on its intended strike action on Monday, the 21st of September, 2020,” the court ordered.

Planned strike

Tens of thousands of Ghanaian nurses and midwives launched a full-scale strike nationwide on Thursday, to demand improved conditions of service, amid fears of a surge in coronavirus cases.

The strike which starts on Monday, September 21 is organized by the Ghana Registered Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (GRNMA) which has some 200,000 members at neighbourhood clinics and major hospitals across the country.

Other public sector health workers including Physician Assistants (PAs) and Anaesthetics (CRAs) have also been directed to withdraw their services.

The strike comes following a decline of COVID-19 cases with the government reporting on Friday at least 97 new cases.

The medics said the government’s stance during negotiations for improved conditions of service fell foul of Act 651 of the Labour Law.

Section 97 of the cited law deals with issues of good faith for stakeholders, which the medics appear to have an issue with.

The strike starting on Monday forced Ghana’s major general hospitals to limit their hours and delay scheduled surgeries.

The general public, according to a statement issued by the GRNMA, is to seek medical attention at other health facilities.

The association and the government were holding talks on the Non-Core Category two and three allowances. The government, however, is yet to make an official statement over the new development.

Nurses divided

Meanwhile, another group of nurses appears to have disassociated itself from the said strike.

The National Association of Registered Nurses–Ghana (NARM-Ghana) described the GRNMA-led strike as surprising.

“NARM-Ghana reminds its cherished members of the pledge made in 2007 not to resort to strike as a way of pressing home demands as the absence of midwives endangers the lines of pregnant women and their unborn babies”, the group said in a statement.

The group further entreated its members to “disregard the announcement made by the GRNMA and remain at post while leadership continues to engage the government through the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to resolve other outstanding issues”.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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