The Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission, Mr Ofosu Asamoah, has warned that striking members of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) stand losing their salaries for the month of September as their strike is illegal.
Mr Asamoah told Citi News that the GRNMA would be breaking the law and leaders liable for contempt of court because the Labour Commission secured an injunction against their strike action.
The health workers according to the NLC also stand the risk of having their appointments terminated should their industrial action go beyond 10 days.
“There is a court order, a very laudable one against them, restraining them from embarking on the strike, and they’ve decided to defy the orders of the court and go ahead with an illegal strike. Four things come to play, first by law, if you engage in an illegal strike, you should not receive your salaries, wages or anything entitled to you during the period on which you are on strike.”
“If you engage in this illegal strike, it means that you have abandoned your post unlawfully and if it continues for a period, 10 days or more… you will be regarded as having deserted and your employers can terminate your appointment.”
He emphasized the consequences of the action on the leadership of the nurses saying they may be liable for contempt of court.
“For the participating workers in the unlawful strike, they risk losing their salaries, after some time, the risk of having their appointment terminated. The organizers of the strike risk being in contempt of court and then additional responsibilities of paying the striking workers,”
The GRNMA last week served notice to the Labour Commission to the effect that it was going to strike on Monday, September 21, 2020.
The strike, according to the nurse’s group, was as a result of government not yielding to their demands in an ongoing negotiation on conditions of service for nurses.
The Labour Commission on Friday, September 18, 2020, secured a High Court injunction to stop the planned strike.
However, the GRNMA citing non-receipt of the said injunction went ahead and declared a strike on Monday, effectively causing a breakdown in service delivery at health facilities across the country.
While patients who turned up at the Out-Patient Departments of the various facilities had no officials to attend to them, Doctors were also compelled to discharge patients on admission due to the unavailability of nurses to provide care.