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Health Service Workers Union launches fund

BY: Jemima Okang Addae & Elizabeth Konadu-Boakye
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Service, addressing participants in the launch of the fund. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Service, addressing participants in the launch of the fund. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

The Health Service Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress (HSWU-TUC), has launched a fund to improve the welfare of members.

The fund, which will also provide supplement income for members opon retirement, was launched at the union’s 13th Anniversary Week celebration in Accra yesterday[September 6, 2022].

It was on the theme: “The role of unions in promoting the socio-economic well-being of members in times of economic crisis.”

The General-Secretary of the union, Franklin Owusu-Ansah, said the establishment of the fund was appropriate, especially in a period when majority of people were finding it difficult to access quality health care due to economic and financial hardships.

“It was for the above reason the union tasked the Fund Committee to come up with pragmatic steps to establish and implement the HSWU Fund to help rescue members from financial miseries,” he said.

According to Mr Owusu-Ansah, the union’s research department embarked on a survey to come up with membership preferred options that would make the fund effective and viable.

“A lot of work has gone into the establishment of the fund and we are ready to make it work,” he added.

Mr Owusu-Ansah alleged that there had been unfairness in the issuance of collective bargaining certificates by the Labour Department to small cadre associations which already belonged to the union.

The practice, he said could lead to lots of challenges in terms of negotiations with the government and employers.

“We, therefore, call on the government and the operatives to ensure that the certificates are protected by doing due diligence before new ones are issued,” the General-Secretary said.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the TUC, Joshua Ansah, urged the union to redirect its commitment to promote and defend the fundamental rights and dignity of its members.

Staff clinic

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the service was working together with the sector ministry to establish a staff clinic for all health workers.

“We have been discussing issues for health workers and the minister has established a committee to ensure it becomes a reality.

“It is extremely important we acknowledge that all of you contribute to the sector. As long as health services are missing, the frontline will not work,” he said.

An Associate Professor at the Department of Labour and Human Resource Studies at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Akuamoah Britwum, called for unity among members of the union to help improve on the lot of workers.