There appears to be some hope that striking doctors and pharmacists in public hospitals as well as university teachers may call off their strike action next week.
Sources close to the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) told the Daily Graphic that the unions of the three professional groups would soften their stance after a marathon meeting last Thursday with organised labour, led by Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and Mr George Smith-Graham, Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
They said following an agreement reached among the parties that there should be a media truce regarding the strike, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOPSA) and the University Teachers Association (UTAG) indicated their readiness to reconsider their demands.
The GMA and GHOPSA embarked on their strike action last Monday, in protest against delays in the payment of certain allowances, with the GMA threatening to withdraw all services, including emergencies if their demands were not met.
Members of UTAG on the other hand laid down their tools on April 2 2013, demanding the payment of certain allowances that have been in arrears.
According to the sources, representatives of the GMA indicated they would put the conclusions reached at the meeting with the GTUC and FWSC before the membership this weekend to take a decision about the way forward.
They said the other two unions asked for the opportunity to go back to their membership for discussions on the issues, adding that enough of goodwill was exhibited at the meeting to show that both the government and the professionals on strike had accepted the path of dialogue and compromises as the best way to resolve their disagreements.
Meanwhile, a statement issued in Accra last Thursday by the PSJSNC said the parties had declared a media truce on the current labour unrest arising out of the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) between the parties in order to reduce tension and to facilitate the resolution of the issues.
It also said the parties resolved to set up an internal peer review mechanism to assist in resolving disputes before they escalated.
According to the statement, the parties further resolved to facilitate the resolution of the current labour agitations on the implementation issues of the SSPP.
Source: Daily Graphic
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