The Ministry of Health has assured of plans to upgrade the salaries and conditions of service of members of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana.
After the group’s most recent strike in February, it was directed to begin negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.
But less than two months down the line, the workers are threatening another strike over what they say is the government’s continuous failure to address their concerns.
While the Health Ministry is admitting that a job evaluation, which is a prerequisite for increasing their salaries, might take a while to complete, it’s Public Relations Officer, Elorm Ametepe said it will be prudent for the mortuary workers to continue with the negotiations.
“As part of their demands, they requested for a name change and the Ministry will have to meet and define what the new name means and the qualification for that new name. They also talked about conditions of service but conditions of service usually goes with job evaluation. And that is usually done by the Fair and Wages and Salary Commission.”
“And as I speak to you, we have constituted a six member committee, with two of the members being membrs of the mortuary workers assocaition. They are expected to meet today so we are on course. There is no delay. We are just saying they should not go on strike. They should help us follow the process,” he added.
Members of the Association, in March 2019, laid down their tools over low salaries and poor working conditions.
The strike was called off on the third day of the protest after a meeting with the National Labour Commission with the hope that their grievances would be met.
Speaking to Citi News, however, the General Secretary of MOWAG, Richard Jordan, indicated that they have seen no progress of the said negotiations, hence the upcoming strike.
“As I speak to you there has not been any sign of negotiation. We think that some people are still conspiring. It is, therefore, necessary for us to show our displeasure. We are not sure when but we shall communicate clearly to the public and the media. We will not be intimidated and bullied around as if we do not know what we are doing. We are tired of stories and moving us here and there. We are not illegally taking anything from anybody. “
The Association declared its first indefinite strike for its members on Tuesday, March 4, 2019, over their low salaries and poor working conditions but subsequently rescinded the decision.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission had earlier described the strike by the mortuary workers as illegal.
The Commission said the group failed to go through the approved procedure before declaring the industrial action.
During the short strike period, several bereaved families were left stranded at public mortuaries across the country; unable to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones for burial or deposit bodies due to the action.