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We’ll not call off our strike based on mere assurances – MELPWU

  Thu, 20 Jun 2024
Health We’ll not call off our strike based on mere assurances – MELPWU
THU, 20 JUN 2024 LISTEN

Members of the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers Union in the Ashanti Region remain firm in their decision to continue the strike until their concerns are fully addressed.

The strike which commenced on Monday, June 17 over better conditions of service is severely affecting patients needing laboratory services.

Despite the impact, the strike does not seem to be ending soon as members of the association have made a resolute decision to remain on strike unless their employer signs a memorandum of understanding to meet their demands.

Speaking with Channel One News, the Ashanti Regional Chairman for Ghana Association of Medical Lab Scientists, Dr. Eric Kofi Aidoo indicated that they are not ready to call off the strike based on mere assurances.

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“We have not got an official notice to call off the strike. What we saw was somebody putting out there a circular which was not even meant for us. If you really want to do something with us, you need to write to the union and invite the union to come to the table, but you don’t put something malicious out there. Thinking that people will sympathise with you and all that, it’s not fair.”

“We have given you our terms, we have laid down something we feel you have to meet us on the way. We will call the strike off when we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. It’s not about assuring us that you will do this or that, we want to have something on paper, and we want things to reflect on our pay slips. Once we have all those things, we will call it off.”

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The association among other demands is also advocating for the employment of medical lab science graduates who have been without jobs for years, citing the limited number of lab scientists in various hospitals.

“Whatever that we’re seeking is not only about money, but we also have students, interns who left school four, five years ago and are still at home. These people are so important, they number about 2,000 or more and are sitting at home. But you go to some facilities, you see only one scientist there doing all the work, such people are bound to make mistakes and when they come, the mistakes are grave.

Patients left stranded at hospitals in Koforidua

In a related development, the strike by the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers Union is negatively impacting healthcare delivery at various health facilities in the Eastern Region.

A visit by Citi News to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital and the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua saw a number of patients and relatives left stranded, as laboratory services at both facilities had completely been halted.

Surprisingly laboratory technicians at the St. Joseph Hospital at Effiduase were on duty attending to clients as they did not take part in the nationwide strike action by their union leaders.

Some patient relatives who shared their frustrations with Citi News called on the government to immediately resolve all outstanding issues with the union for them to return to work.

A mother said, “[Pregnant woman] Every two months I come for the lab which helps me to know my child’s blood group. I was perturbed when I couldn’t meet the lab staff. We’re pleading with the government to ensure that whatever is due the lab union is fulfilled so that they can attend to us.”

“I was asked to do some labs, I arrived around 6:am, but I was told all of them are on strike, we’re pleading with the government to agree to their request,” a patient also said.

-citinewsroom

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