Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the good people of Ghana, our colleagues unpaid nurses and midwives, everybody out there, good morning/afternoon. The above group comprises of aggrieved Registered General Nurses(RGN), Registered Midwives(RM), Registered Mental Nurses( RMN), Registered Community Nurses(RCN), Enrolled nurses(EN), Certified Community Nurses(CCN) across the country.

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It may interest you to know that members of this group who are all qualified staffs have been working for so long a time with least and longest duration being six months and eighteen months respectively without salaries. What is even more worrisome is the fact that the government has started scrapping the monthly internship allowance which is our only source of livelihood (Ref:D12 NTC Agogo, September 2014 and other Nursing schools), so how then do we even survive at the first place, and this is to be extended to the whole country. The explanation given for the scrapping of the internship allowance is that we are now full-fledged staffs and no longer interns. That is exactly so since we are all permanent staffs now but one would have thought that the allowances would have to be scrapped after we have all been upgraded to our full salary statuses but unfortunately, this is not the case. So we ask, what happened to common sense? Was it a deliberate act to starve the poor nurse/midwives or someone somewhere is sleeping on the job. We are sure most Ghanaians have lost count of the number of times utility and other tariffs have been increased marginally. The poor nurse/midwife is not immune to any of these price hikes. We pay the same rents, bills, transportation, feeding and pay for the same goods and services, so if those on salaries are complaining of hardship, then your guess is as good as mine in our case. The untold hardship is simply indescribable.

The poor nurse/ midwife is required to work up to standard but peradventure something untoward happens, say negligence of duty or malpractice, this nurse/midwife would be dealt with accordingly irrespective of the fact that his/her salaries are not paid him/her and that hunger, psychological and emotional instability could account for his/her negligence and malpractice (Refer to WHO definition of Health). This simply means that our role as nurses/midwives in health delivery is non-negotiable so it is quite fascinating that our salaries and arrears due us seem to be something that must be negotiated and or justified.

We want to use this opportunity to clarify some issues. First of all, we are not demanding for anything extra apart from what is rightfully due us. Secondly, the convention in the past was that, no matter how long your salary delays, you could take consolation in the fact that once it is paid, all the arrears due you would be paid with it. The twist now however is that, irrespective of how long you have worked( say six months, ten months, or even fifteen months), the government pays only three months arrears at a flat rate of GHC 3,000.00. This is not only cheating but gross injustice. We never told the government that we are working for charity. Lastly, we have exhausted all the laid down guidelines of redress yet all of them proved futile. And even assuming that the guidelines were not exhausted, does it therefore imply that we have to keep fighting and or begging for what is rightfully ours? What then happens to our fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana? We thought the government is rather mandated to protect those rights and not to infringe upon them as it is being done now.

Information gathered so far shows that not even a single person who has successfully filled and submitted the clearance form (a form designed to be used in the payment of salary arrears) has been paid, and no authority has been able to state emphatically when they will be paid.

Ladies and gentlemen, which government appointee stays for even three months without salaries? We don?t even want to talk about their heavy allowances, free fuel, free utility bills, per diems etc. Does that also mean that some of us are second class citizens? Again our answer is very indelible in the constitution. Ladies and gentlemen, after months of unsuccessful attempts to get us paid, and upon serious deliberations between the National Coordinator and all the ten Regional Representations, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. That the government must pay all salaries and outstanding arrears due us by 30th November, 2014.

2. That failure by government to meet the above stated deadline means heading to the law court to seek redress.

We thank you all for your time and attention.

Signed

Asare Danquah Jefferson
National Coordinator
0202646260/0541849806
[email protected]

Regional reps:
Adu ? Fokuo Douglas ? 0507126991 ? Greater Accra

Newman Eli Kumah ? 0207923839 ? Ashanti

Adams Obed ? 0202160047 ? Northern

Theophilus Doh ? 0242276258 ? Volta
Patrick Abbey ? 0247978436 ? Brong Ahafo

Asako Thomas ? 0506224842 ? Upper East

Janet Aba Saah ? 0206715065 ? Eastern

Anita Asante ?0242863181?Central

Aboagye Dorothy ?0247299948?Western

Cc: Media houses

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