Health Workers Union call for structured incremental credits for members

Accra, The Health Service Workers Union (HSWU) of Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called for a structured incremental credits for its members to boost moral as well as increase productivity.

Mr Franklin Owusu Ansah, the Deputy General Secretary of HSWU, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said it came to the notice of the National Executive Council (NEC) that since the advent of the HSSS in 2006, there have not been any structured incremental credits for its members.

This, he said, was in contravention of Section 17.12 of their collective agreement.

He said: The anomaly as the issue stands now is causing rage and infuriation among our members and called on mandated authorities to address the anomaly.

Mr Ansah said the Ministry of Finance, despite several prompts by the Union on issues bothering on market premium, has incessantly calculated the market premium of public sector workers on the 2012 base pay, disregarding the spirit and letter of the single spine pay policy.

In effect, members continue to receive premium that does not commensurate with their current base pay, he said and called on the Ministry of Finance and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to rectify the anomaly.

He said at the just-ended their 6th regular NEC meeting, they deliberated on lots of issues affecting members including incremental credits, market premium, selective implementation of the collective agreement, National Health Insurance and Pensions.

The NEC also deliberated on selective implementation of the Collective Agreement and was emphatic that the Ministry of Health and its allied agencies must fulfill their part of the Collective Agreement by ensuring that Management of the agencies respect and implement the provision therein to forestall any industrial action.

In the same vain, NEC resolved that certain allowances such as fuel and car maintenance allowances, that have financial implication on the health facilities should be consolidated and paid from the Controller and Accountants General’s Department.

On National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr Owusu said, NEC is gravely concerned about the erratic payment of claims to the various Health Facilities by the National Health Insurance Authority.

This exposition, he said, was hinged on the fact that those health facilities are crippled and cannot function optimally.

In the light of this, our members who are paid through the Internally Generated Funds of the facilities suffer from delays and non-implementation of provisions in the Collective Agreement. This also has other implication in the delivery of quality health care to the public since the facilities continually complain of budget constraints.

On Pensions, Mr Owusu said, NEC calls on the Trade Union Congress, Ghana to as a matter of urgency to undertake a comprehensive comparative study between PNDC Law 247 and Pension Act 766 to ascertain which of them will be of immense benefit to Ghanaian workers, come January 2020.

At the moment, our members who have retired and those who will do so from January 2020 are left in a limbo as actual contributions are not known, so calculating their benefits by the schemes has become problematic’. In addition, the past credit declared by SSNIT is woefully inadequate.

A typical example is a situation where a Principal Technical Officer who has worked for over 37.5 years, was giving past credit of GH4, 727.31, he said.

In view of above issues mentioned, NEC in session calls on all relevant authorities to intervene, as a matter of urgency to curtail the needless delay in accessing benefits from the scheme by contributors.

Source: Ghana News Agency