Nurses and Midwives have served a notice demanding for Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) barely 24 hours after the four (4) major Teacher Unions in Ghana: GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and CCT-GH jointly declared indefinite strike action effective 4th July, 2022 following President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) government refusal to pay 20% COLA to teachers.
In a statement, the leadership of the Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG) said, they are surprised at the laxity with which the welfare of Nurses and Midwives have been handled within these hard economic times
According to the leadership of UPNMG, In 2014, a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) of 10% of Public Sector Workers Basic Salary was paid to workers to cushion us when things got tough due to high cost of living.
The Association said, in 2022, they find themselves in a similar economic situation and they expected nothing short of a similar stop gap measure to cushion the many Nurses and Midwives in the Country.
Leadership of the Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG) explained that, Unions in the education sector laid down their tools to drum home this request which was brought to the attention of the employer during the May Day celebration and followed up with a formal letter by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on the 24th of June 2022.
“We, the members of the UNION OF PROFESSIONAL NURSES AND MIDWIVES, GHANA (UPNMG) are equally calling on the government to as a matter of urgency to introduce at least 20% of our basic salaries as COLA whiles we wait for the managers of the economy to turn things round.”
They said, the strike called by teachers in their joint press release is a call in the right direction and deserve the full backing of all labour unions in the country.
“We have waited for the bearer of the Collective Bargaining Certificate for Nurses and Midwives to make a move in demanding for this COLA but little is heard from them. We have thus taken it upon ourselves as the second largest union within the Nursing and Midwifery profession to appeal to the government to us a matter of urgency take a eritical look at the matter. The earlier we begin to think about re-looking at the conditions in which Nurses and Midwives work in Ghana, the better it will be for our health system as Nurses and Midwives play a major role in the health delivery system.” The leadership said.
In a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG) John Agbenyeavu said, the leadership is therefore calling on the employer as a matter of urgency to pay all Public Sector Workers the COLA to avert further industrial actions.