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GMA will not go on strike — General Secretary

BY: Samuel K. Obour

• General Secretary of the GMA, Dr Frank SerebourThe Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says it is not considering any immediate strike action in spite of the delay by the High Court in resuming hearing on the matter brought against the association by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

It said as a law-abiding association, they would want to wait for the High Court to speak and, therefore, made a passionate appeal to the court to expedite action on the hearing of the case since their patience could run out.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday, the General Secretary of the GMA, Dr Frank Serebour, said the delay in adjudicating on the case was also preventing them from pursuing their grievances with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) over their migration to the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

The specific concerns that pushed the doctors to go on strike centred on the payments of their market premium, conversion difference and reduced pensions.

In the course of the last industrial action by the GMA in April 2013, the NLC dragged the GMA to the Financial Division of the Fast track High Court seeking a number of reliefs.

Among them was a declaration that the strike action was illegal. They also sought a declaration preventing public sector doctors from embarking on future strike actions because they provided essential service.

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“If we are all saying the health sector is an essential service, then doctors must be treated fairly,” Dr Serebour said.

Explaining their position further, Dr Serebour said at the last adjourned date the court made a specific order to the NLC to serve the FWSC with details of their writ to enable it (court) to proceed from there.

The GMA General Secretary said the NLC had since complied with the order but to date nothing had been heard from the court as to when hearing was resuming.

Dr Serebour indicated that the delay on completing hearing on the case had given the government, the GWSC and the NLC the leeway to “take us for a ride’”

He stated that the GMA would meet on August 9, 2013 to decide the next line of action if they did not hear from the court.

By Kwame Asare Boadu/Daily Graphic/Ghana