Nurses demand payment of unpaid salaries

The Management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital on Monday reached an agreement with its junior nurses over the issue of unpaid salaries since January 2012. Reverend Albert .O. Botchway, Acting Chief Administrator of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, at a meeting with the leadership of the junior nurses and the President of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, said the cheques for payment of their September salaries were being issued to their (nurses) banks today Monday. Meanwhile, the Korle Bu management asked for a month to reach an agreement on the issue of payment of arrears contrary to the demands of the nurses that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) be signed immediately between the two parties to determine the timeline for payment of the arrears. Rev. Botchway explained that the hospital management needed time to engage Government in discussion, hence the call on the nurses to exercise more patience. He said the management received government�s directive on Wednesday September 25, 2013, to pay the salaries of the junior nurses from its Internally Generated Fund (IGF), adding they had since been working hard to mobilize funds to comply with the order. He, however, stated that as much as the Korle Bu authorities appreciated the concerns and grievances of the junior nurses, it could not make any further promises regarding other demands stated in an earlier petition, which included issues of accommodation and health care needs. Rev. Botchway indicated that management was working hard to sustain the payment of such remunerations and pleaded with the group to be mindful of the implications of any strike. The junior nurses have not received salaries for the past 21 months and therefore were anxious about the lack of communication on the issue from their employers over the period. Based on this, they issued a deadline of September 30, 2013 to management to pay them their salaries or they would embark on an industrial action. Mr Kwaku Asante Krobea, President of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, intervened and called for a meeting with the nurses earlier today to call off their intended strike for proper dialogue with the management of the hospital. He appealed to the group to allow its mother association to handle the issue and promised as its President to facilitate dialogue between the two to reach an amicable solution. Mr Abdulsalam Mohammed, Chairperson of the aggrieved nurses, said although they were not happy about the terms of the hospital management, they were ready to abide by the agreement reached so far and give them the required one month. After the one month, he said, they would meet for further dialogue.