Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - The Ministry of Health (MoH) has assured striking psychiatric nurses in the country that processes have begun to enable them to receive their salary arrears.
A letter written by the acting Chief Director of the MoH, Dr Afisah Zakariah, to the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority said the ministry “in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Audit Service has successfully concluded the verification and validation of the documentation pertaining to the payment of salary arrears to some staff of your facility.”

It said “the Controller and Accountant General is at the moment keying in the inputs as the system has been opened for this purpose.”

“All affected staff of the Authority will, therefore, receive their arrears as soon as possible,” it added.

Psychiatric nurses from the Accra, Pantang and Ankaful hospitals embarked on an indefinite strike to drum home their demand for the payment of their seven-month salary arrears.

The nurses had earlier in August this year declared a sit-down strike to demand their money but assurances from the government had not been honoured as at the end of September.

The Employment and Labour Minister, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has, however, described the strike as illegal and has threatened the 190 nurses involved that they may lose their salaries for the period for which they are out of the office.

He said even though the nurses had every right to feel disappointed at the non-payment of their salaries, their declaration of strike was clearly unacceptable.

Mr Iddrisu blamed the delay in the payment on "government bureaucracy" and "HR failure" but said those were no excuses for the nurses to announce a strike without notice.
"The strike is illegal, clearly unlawful. That is disrespectful to the labour laws of the country even if I have failed to honour the promise," he said.

The minister had earlier on Tuesday met with leaders of the group during which he apprised them of developments in relation to payment of the salaries for the month of September, but they called for the strike on Thursday as they still felt nothing was being done to alleviate their plight.
 


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