Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"I’ll not accede to the demands of the Ghana Medical Association, no matter the political cost" - Prez Mahama


President John Dramani has given the strongest indication that government may not yield to the demands of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) over their conditions of service.

The President contends that the demands if approved will open the flood gates for other public sector workers to make similar financial demands, a situation he believes the economy cannot sustain.

The GMA last week embarked on a partial strike to demand the approval and adoption of a document containing their conditions of service.

President Mahama during a visit to Botswana early this year told the Ghanaian community there that he will not kowtow to demands from public sector workers, and that he had adopted a “dead goat syndrome.”

Reiterating his commitment during the 80th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association in Accra, President Mahama emphasized that he will not authorize the payment of salaries and allowances that has not been captured in the budget.

“Just yesterday, a friend was urging me to intervene and accede to the demand of the doctors. After all they are only 2,800 of them he told me. What he failed to realize is that there are 590,000 other public sector workers organized in 11 other professional groups lined up and just waiting to see what the doctors come away with from the negotiating table before they put in their own demands. This will adversely affect the single spine pay policy and could result in breaking the spine.”

He explained that “the right to negotiate by professional groups is sacrosanct and I believe that government and the medical officers must continue the dialogue of the conditions of service to arrive at an amicable solution in an atmosphere that is devoid of coercion.”

“Currently other negotiations are ongoing on other categories of allowances at the public services joint negotiation committee. Any agreements that are reached in respect of allowances of conditions of services will have to be appropriately captured in the budget. I will not authorize any expenditure on wages and compensation not provided for in the budget. Fiscal discipline requires that not a single pesewa is spent on remuneration outside what has been budgeted for,” he noted.

According to him, “this goes to both article 71 office holders and those on the single spine. It goes for the president as well as the lowest public sector employee. I’m determined to hold the line no matter the political cost. Our people have sacrificed enough,” Mahama added.

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By: Godwin A. Allotey & Franklin Badu Jnr/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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