Stop gagging, intimidating our clients – Lawyers of striking nurses, midwives to CHAG

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The solicitor for the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists, the Ghana Physician Assistants Association and the Ghana Registered Nurses And Midwives Association, Mr Eric Owusu Sae, has described as “distasteful” attempts by the Ministry of Health and the Christian Health Association Of Ghana (CHAG) to “coerce” his clients from going on their intended strike, scheduled for today, Monday, 21 September 2020.

In a letter, the lawyer said: “Our clients have also noted with concern, letters from Saint Dominic Hospital, Akwatia and Pentecost Hospital Madina, addressed to all categories of nurses and allied professionals on 20th September 2020, coercing them to flout the admonishing of our clients to its members to resort to an industrial action to drum home the points succinctly captured in the press release of 17th September 2020”.

He said: Our clients do not only find the letter of 19th September 2020 distasteful, but are fortified in their belief by the said letter that CHAG is deeply in bed with stakeholders in the health delivery service, who have purposed to subject our clients to ridicule by courting disaffection for our clients, nationwide”.

The letter continued: “Our clients are by this letter, reminding CHAG that in 2016, when health facilities were directed to pay category 3 allowances to members of staff of health institutions with internally-generated funds, CHAG flouted the said directive with glee.

“Our clients hereby urge CHAG to state its stance on the vexed matter of the payment of category 3 allowances by its members and state in unequivocal terms, whether CHAG intends to abide by the directive of 2016.

“Our clients find it objectionable that CHAG has failed to abide by the tenets of the Christian faith it professes to uphold by neglecting the genuine welfare concerns of our clients, while condoning the wanton disregard for directives and memoranda signed by our clients and their employers”.

Read the lawyer’s full letter below:

IN-RE WITHDRAWAL OF NURSING, MIDWIFERY, ANAESTHESIA & PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS SERVICES

We act as solicitors for the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists, the Ghana Physician Assistants Association and the Ghana Registered Nurses And Midwives Association (hereinafter referred to as “Our Clients”), and it is on their instructions that we write this letter to you.

It is the case of our clients that per a press release dated 17th September,2020 and referenced GRNMA/S/09/2020, our clients indicated their intention to withdraw their services to members of the public with effect from Monday, 21st September as a result of an impasse between Our Clients and the Ministry Of Health.

Our clients say that on the 19th of September,2020 they sighted a letter addressed to the Honourable Minister For Health, Ministry Of Health, Accra, which said letter was copied to Church Health Institution Coordinators and Member Institutions of The Christian Health Association Of Ghana (Hereinafter referred to as CHAG) urging Our Clients in the employ of members of CHAG to “uphold the CHAG non-strike convention/directive and ensure that staff remain at post to provide valuable professional services in fulfillment of Christ’s Healing Ministry”.

Our clients have also noted with concern, letters from Saint Dominic Hospital, Akwatia and Pentecost Hospital Madina, addressed to all categories of nurses and allied professionals on 20th September 2020, coercing them to flout the admonishing of our clients to its members to resort to an industrial action to drum home the points succinctly captured in the press release of 17th September 2020.

Our clients do not only find the letter of 19th September 2020 distasteful, but are fortified in their belief by the said letter that CHAG is deeply in bed with stakeholders in the health delivery service, who have purposed to subject our clients to ridicule by courting disaffection for our clients, nationwide.

Our clients are by this letter, reminding CHAG that in 2016, when health facilities were directed to pay category 3 allowances to members of staff of health institutions with internally-generated funds, CHAG flouted the said directive with glee.

Our clients hereby urge CHAG to state its stance on the vexed matter of the payment of category 3 allowances by its members and state in unequivocal terms, whether CHAG intends to abide by the directive of 2016.

Our clients find it objectionable that CHAG has failed to abide by the tenets of the Christian faith it professes to uphold by neglecting the genuine welfare concerns of our clients, while condoning the wanton disregard for directives and memoranda signed by our clients and their employers.

It is curious to note; our clients say that CHAG contravened its avowed non-strike policy sometime in 2014 when the National Health Insurance Authority became indebted to institutions under CHAG.

Our clients are impressing upon CHAG to expend its energy on employers who have held our clients hostage during negotiations at worst and are in the habit of courting public disaffection for our clients at best.

Our clients are by this letter also reiterating their commitment to embarking on an industrial action with effect from Monday, 21st September 2020 and urge members of the affected associations to remain steadfast in these trying moments.

Our clients would like to assure each and all of their commitment to discharging their services to members of the public when the dust settles on the current impasse. Yours faithfully, ……………………………………

Solicitor for the above-named professionals

Eric Owusu Sae Esq. LIC.

NUMBER eBAR 00924/20 The Sector Minister Ministry of Health, Accra.