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Disregard decision to strike by nurses’ and midwives’ association, says rival NARM Ghana

Midwives working in the public sector turn against colleagues in a sister professional organisation intent on striking next week

The National Association of Registered Midwives of Ghana (NARM-Gh) has distanced itself from a decision by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) to embark on a sit-down strike from Monday 21 September.

The general secretary of the GRNMA, David Tenkorang-Twum, said his association was embarking on the strike because ongoing negotiations to address issues surrounding members’ conditions of service had not yielded results.

He was speaking to Kojo Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday (18 September), before a scheduled meeting with government officials about the development.

“Unfair treatment”

“We think that we are not being treated fairly. We started conditions of service negotiations. That expired in 2018. Even that was haphazardly implemented in some facilities,” Tenkorang-Twum said.

“Nurses and midwives have not been treated fairly in this country. Our woes began in 2012 when the ex-government decided to freeze our market premiums and also remove a car waiver without recourse to the association,” he said.

“If by 21 September government does not respond positively to our demands, certainly we will embark on a strike action – not only nurses and midwives, but all those who are covered by our bargaining certificate.”

He explained that a meeting with the government earlier this week to discuss points of disagreement was equally unsuccessful.

However, a statement issued by the National Association of Registered Midwives, Ghana (NARM-Gh) has expressed shock at the erroneous impression by the GRNMA that practising midwives would be joining the strike and that the decision to strike had been reached through consultation.

“NARM Ghana reminds its cherished members of the pledge made in 2007 not to resort to strike action as a way of pressing home demands for improved conditions of service, as the absence of midwives in health facilities endangers the lives of innocent pregnant women and their unborn babies,” the statement said.

Separate conditions of service

NARM Ghana called on all practising midwives to disregard the announcement by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association and to remain at post while leaders of the profession continue to engage the government through the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service to resolve all outstanding disagreements.

“NARM Ghana believes midwives in Ghana deserve special attention and separate conditions of service. Midwives should therefore not pretend to be satisfied with what GRNMA negotiates for them,” the midwives’ association’s statement said.

“It is for this reason that the association applied and obtained a bargaining certificate to negotiate for midwives which the GRNMA, very sadly, is battling in court for its withdrawal,” the statement added.

Fred Dzakpata

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