Mortuary workers in the country have threatened to embark on a strike action from Tuesday, November 20, 2018, over poor conditions of service.
The decision comes on the back of neglect and unresponsiveness by the Ministry of Health over their concerns.
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Programme, Richard Kofi Jordan, General Secretary to Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana said, “the kind of job we do is deadly…you cannot quantify it…”
According to him, the job is serious to the extent that one can contract infectious diseases so easily, citing KUMACA’s death as an example.
He said the cause of dead was not detected yet they were embalming the dead bodies, adding “imagine it was some kind of strange disease, we could have contracted it, he stressed”.
He further reiterated their poor condition of service, adding, “we overwork and not paid for the overtime, not paid for public holidays and other issues raised”.
Among their complaints, the association said most of the workers were employed as casual workers, and their jobs are not guaranteed.
Mr. Jordan appealed to the Ministry of Health to come to their aid for their concerns to be addressed.
Meanwhile the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Nsiah Asare has indicated that they have met with them to have their issues resolved but they have for the meantime, instructed heads of health institutions to have their conditions of service resolved.
He has assured them that the ministry will meet them to have their strike averted.
Read full statement below:
It is regrettable that our concerns should have reached this apex such that we have no alternative than to resort to a nationwide industrial action that is envisaged will bring a profound result.
You may wish to note that the following series of complaints per the proposals submitted upon the request of the Ministry of Health, no fruitful responses and outcomes were received.
Some of the issues of concern which borders on illegalities are enumerated as follows
1. Many of the Mortuary Workers are denied perpetual their annual leave in violation of section 20 of Act 651.
2. Most Mortuary Workers work more than the required 8 hours including Saturdays and Sundays in violation of section 33 of Act 651.
3. Most have been employed as casual and temporary workers in violation of section 74 and 75 of Act 651, which does not guarantee job security especially in the environment in which they work.
4. In terms of remuneration, it is unfortunate to state that Mortuary workers are treated as most unrecognized in the sector and for that matter, least paid on the salary structure of Ministry of Health with no single allowance.
5. Many of the Mortuary facilities are understaffed, no maintenance which compromises on health and safety rules of the sector making the workers unnecessary to suffer in silence.
6. In terms of their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), some have to struggle to get them to use making the working conditions at some facilities undesirable.
7. There is no provision for universal medical checkups plan in violation of sections 118 of Act 651.
8. No overtime is paid which is in violation of section 35.
9. They are not paid for public holidays in violation of section 72 of Act 651.
10. They work on weekends on which are resting days by law which will amount to overtime but are not paid.
In summary, these are some irregularities or illegalities being perpetrated against this class of workers by Ministry of Health and its agencies with impunity.
It is therefore surprising that the Ministry of Health does not see these infringements on the rights of the Ghanaian Mortuary worker and is reluctant to resolving them; hence our resort to an industrial action (STRIKE) starting from Tuesday, 20th November 2018.
Total withdrawal of all services until we are convinced that our concerns presented to the Ministry of Health are fully addressed.
Meanwhile, we wish to take this opportunity to sympathize with the public who will be inconvenient in this trial times.
We also wish to state clearly that any intimidation or attempt from any agency, department or institution under Ministry of Health to any Mortuary Worker in the country will be met with equal force during the period of our strike
Source: Josephine Acheampomaa/Peacefmonlinefirstname.lastname@example.org