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11.01.2005 Regional News

DCE intervenes in industrial action at St. Dominic's Hospital

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Akwatia, (E/R) Jan. 11, GNA - The timely intervention of the Kwaebibirem District Chief Executive, Mr. Yaw Yiadom-Boakye has averted what would have been a long industrial action by a section of the workers of St. Dominic's Hospital at Akwatia in the Eastern Region.

A sit down strike action by ward assistants, drivers, biostatistics, accounts, administrative and other supporting staff which lasted from morning till about mid-day when Mr. Yiadom-Boakye managed to convince the workers to go back to work whilst their grievances were being looked into.

The strike action was over what they described as "denial of payment of allowance for health workers to deprived areas" to them. At about 0800 hours when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) got to the hospital the striking workers had gathered under a tree and were quietly discussing the issue.

Anxious patients were on the other hand waiting apprehensively, not knowing what their fate would be should the workers refuse to get back to work.

A copy of a "resolution on allowance for health workers in deprived areas" jointly signed by Samuel Mensah for the TUC/Laboratory, Augustine Addae, Ward Assistants, Stephen Coffie, records and nine others to the hospital administrator, copied to the management, medical superintendent and acting matron, argued that in a hospital or any other health institution, records, ward assistants, accounts, administrative and other supporting staff constitute the total health staff.

The resolution added that when nurses went on strike sometime ago and St. Dominic's and some other health institutions, which did not take part were consequently rewarded, only nurses at the hospital were paid 100,000 cedis as an incentive.

It continued that ironically all health personnel at the District Health Management Team (DHMT) at Kade have benefited from the incentive.

After a closed door meeting with management of the hospital and officials from the DHMT, the DCE acknowledged to the workers that it was a mistake for only nurses and a few others to have benefited from the package since the other workers were also working in a deprived area. Mr. Yiadom-Boakye said matters bordering on health should not be toyed with, and therefore pledged that he would do everything within his power to ensure that the other workers who were denied the first package had their fair share in subsequent ones.

That, he said, would help promote industrial harmony to allow proper health delivery programmes at the hospital.

The DCE therefore asked the committee which decided on the beneficiaries of the package to be reconstituted immediately by bringing on board workers representatives to ensure transparency.

After Mr. Yiadom-Boaky's speech, the TUC Secretary, Mr. Samuel Mensah on behalf of the workers thanked him for his intervention and pledged that they would go back to work pending the outcome of the new committee's work.

The workers responded by getting back to their posts at about 12.00 noon.

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