Grnma Celebrates May Day
Grnma Celebrates May Day

The Upper East Regional chapter of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) on Wednesday joined hundreds of organized labour unions in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital to observe this year’s May Day celebration.

Members of the Association, made up of all categories of nurses and midwives were cladded in branded lacoste T-shirts, and displayed their dancing skills in a float just as other unions’ workers.

Mr Thomas Lambon, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the GRNMA who was actively involved in the celebration, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency that May Day was a special day to celebrate workers, and nurses were not exempted, in spite of the busy schedules.

He said the day afforded members of the Association the opportunity to interact with other organized labour unions in the Region, share ideas and further create opportunity for them to present their concerns to government.

When the GNA observed and quizzed why the GRNMA members had no placards which sort to suggest that they had no concerns to communicate to government as their sister unions displayed theirs, Mr Lambon said “the inscriptions on the placards are not different from our concerns. If we are not with placards does not mean, we do not have issues.”

He said they supported the concerns raised on the placards by their sister unions because members of the Association had equal problems. “We have issues of unpaid salary arrears; we still have young graduate nurses who are still not employed.”

“We have retired nurses and midwives whose pension benefits are nothing to write home about, we have members who are promoted for over one year and have not received their promotion monies. We have a lot of problems,” he said.

Touching on the theme for this year’s celebration: “Sustainable pensions for all: the role of social partners,” the Regional Chairman, who is also a Nurse Anaesthetist, indicated that the employer alone could not “sit down and decide how much each worker should receive as pay. We have Labour Commission, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.”

“These are stakeholders who come together with labour unions to determine how much workers in the various labour unions will take. For us to agree on better pay, better contribution will actually result in better pension package for members. That is the partnership we are talking of.”

The GRNMA Chairman called on government to reconsider the current pension scheme for members because pension benefits for members were “nothing to write home about. We want better pension package,” he insisted.

According to him, the retirement benefits for public sector workers who were on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) was insufficient for a pensioner, and asked “what is it at all about the CAP 30 that cannot be implemented for all of us.”

Mr Lambon congratulated Ghanaian workers, especially members of the GRNMA and admonished them to continue to put up their best in spite of the challenges. “Let us all put the laziness aside and do the right thing, so that our output will justify our demand for better salaries.”

Some inscriptions on placards among others included; “Retirement is inevitable,” “Allow workers control retirement,” “Ghanaian workers deserve better,” “Equal work, Equal pay,” “Pay us sustainable salaries.”

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