Today can confirm that some unmechanised (casual) workers engaged by the Princess Marie Lousie Children’s Hospital (PMLCH) in Accra under the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) are being paid between GHC160 and GHC189.
The workers, numbering over 50 who claimed to have spent between 3 to 18 years working with the state-owned hospital, registered their resentment when they spoke to Today in an interview via telephone at the weekend.
They include Laboratory Technicians, Orderlies, Account Officers, Pharmacy Assistants, Account Clerks, Supply Officers, X-Ray Technicians, Mortuary Attendants, and Biostats Assistants. And strangely enough Today gathered these workers all had Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and undergraduate degrees.
Checks at the hospital indicated that these workers were being paid based on flat salaries, which salaries, according to a document cited by Today, are meant for labourers and interns.
The workers who have formed an association called Unmechanised Workers Association (UWA) under the Chairmanship of Francis Asare complained about the non-payment and provision of risk allowance as being given to other staff members despite the fact that they all perform the same jobs.
“We have never experienced even a single promotion after all these years. How does government expect us to make ends meet and pay every our bills- water, electricity, school fees, garbage, food etc., just like any other worker in the Ghana Health Service (GHS),” the leadership of the Association told Today.
They explained that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, assured them some months ago after they agitated in a meeting that their grievances would be addressed before June 2016.
That, they stressed, never happened.
The workers further noted that several meetings held, letters sent to the GHS, Ministry of Health, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Labour Commission, and President John Dramani Mahama, have all yielded no positive results.
They again expressed disquiet at the health ministry’s decision to ignore them when it was preparing new terms of conditions of service for all health workers and asked, “Are we not part of health workers in the public sector? It is very sad to note that no one considered us during this development.”
According to the workers, what broke their hearts was the silence of the Health Minister, Mr. Alex Segbefia, on their plight when the hospital launched its 90th anniversary celebration recently.
However, the workers have threatened to embark on a demonstration if nothing is done about their demands.