The National Labour Commission (NLC), on Tuesday said the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) should have complained to the Commission when their employer failed to comply with the NLC's rulings for appropriate action to be taken.
The GMA said at a press conference on April 2 that the government had ignored two rulings of the NLC made in respect of a petition submitted to it on disagreements over their conditions of service, namely, negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement for their members and abrogation of fuel allowance without any discussion with the Association.
A statement signed by J. K. Bapuuroh, Executive Secretary of the NLC, said the Commission made two orders on August and December in respect to the two issues in the interest of promoting harmonious industrial relations.
“The Commission had expected that the Association should have complained to the Commission when their employer failed to comply with the directives for the Commission to respond appropriately. This is because when the Commission made the directives, it did not have any reason to believe that they would not be complied with by their employer.”
It said the Commission on April 5 received a formal complaint from the GMA against the Ministry of Health for its non-compliance with the Commission's order relating to negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement and abrogation of fuel allowance.
“The complaint is being studied for the necessary action to be taken to have it settled.”
The statement noted that the GMA during a press conference used the terms “Government” and “Ministry of Health” interchangeable to refer to their employer.
“The Commission wishes to observe that the term “government” used to refer to every public sector worker is misleading. The fact is that though all public sector workers are referred to as 'Government workers' they have individual employers who are corporate personalities that can sue and be sued.”
The NLC said it therefore found it inappropriate for the GMA to accuse the government, as their employer, for failing to comply with the directives of the Commission instead of their real employer, Ministry of Health.
The Commission asked GMA and other public sector unions would take note and act appropriately in their communication with the NLC.