Junior Nurses and midwives are angry over their unpaid salaries

JUNIOR NURSES and midwives have laid down their tools in protest of their unpaid salaries running into two months.

The group however called off their intended demonstration on Thursday because the police said they did not have permit.

The nurses clad in red bands they had resolved not to return to their places of work. This was because ?they are not in the right state of mind as their monies have not been paid and they do not want posterity to judge them for the loss of anyone?s life,? National Coordinator of the Junior Nurses and Midwives, Courage Kwame-Kumah, told Joy Fm.

The action of the nurses follows the expiration of the one-week ultimatum given to government to address the nagging issues of their unpaid allowances among others.

According to them, the Ministry of Health had refused to backdate their appointment to reflect the actual salaries due them.

?We believe for some time we have been so patient because of the lives of our patients that we consider so precious. But to this point it?s like we have been pushed so much to the wall and our patience has reached its threshold,? they said.

According to them, they are still on a student allowance of GH? 290 monthly since they graduated from school in 2010 instead of taking regular salary from the Ghana Health Service.

Members of the group said they had explored every avenue for redress but their efforts had not been fruitful.

Courage Kwame-Kumah, National Coordinator of the group said the Diploma 10 and 11 groups were the most affected.

He said attempts to halt what he called the ?backdating of appointments of junior nurses,? was the root cause of the issue.

?The attempt by the government not to backdate the appointment of the Diploma 10 group who have graduated and invariably the Diploma 11 by putting the latter on a phantom internship allowance with which case they have been denied the right to remuneration as diploma nurses and midwives? will not be tolerated, he said.   

He said attempts to fight for what was due them started as far back as 2011 resulting in a strike action adding that ?after several calls from the good people of Ghana and promises from the Ministry of Health, we were forced to call off the strike action on October 14, 2011 hoping our demands would be met but unfortunately, exactly a year down the line, it has been a total disregard and insult to the junior nurses and midwives.?

?How does anybody expect us to live on GH?290 monthly and survive? Those of us in the cities for instance have had to find our own accommodation fees, transport and food and clothing,? he complained.

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