Some nurses with the Tamale West Hospital have rejected 5kg rice each meant as Christmas package for them as announced by the management of the facility in an internal memo threatening to stage a demonstration against the move.
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The aggrieved nurses who felt insulted by the gesture, on Friday 4th January 2019 convened an emergency general meeting under the auspices of the Ghana Registered Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (GRNMA) of the facility to express their disappointment to management over the decision.
Mr. Hanan-Confidence Abdul the association’s General Secretary is reported to have at the meeting, urged the nurses to come together and fight the management’s attempted to even stop the 5kg rice that is given to staff during Christmas arguing that the nurses were the greatest revenue generators for the hospital and for that matter deserve even better packages.
Details of a letter from the GRNMA in response to the management of the hospital in respect of the package intercepted read “In response to your internal memo received on 21st December, 2018 with the subject “End of Year Motivational Package”, the executives of GRNMA and its entire membership wish to respond to it.
First, the main reason stated in the memo for management’s unpopular decision is non-payment of claims by the National Health Insurance Scheme. Our checks have proven that management’s excuse of claims non-payment is false. The last claims were paid in less than a month today. Granted that the claims are not paid, the staffs of the hospital still deserve some recognition and a package from the gargantuan revenue they generate for the hospital.
It is also unfortunate to apprise the management that other sister hospitals in the metropolis have given their staff some handsome packages and envelopes to end the year. Are these sister facilities not also under the NHIS?
If management is complaining of having no money, where did it get money to pay the allowances of other categories of workers in the hospital? The management should avert their minds to the fact that nurses are the pivot and hospitality of the hospital. And GRNMA of this hospital would like to send a clear message to the management that we shall not countenance any form of Manor Farm scenario.
We are well aware that the end of year package is not written in black and white but we do know that there are conditions of service we mandatorily deserve yet we are not given. For example, Article 17.2.4 of our conditions of service clearly indicates that staffs that commute to work by car, motorbike, and bicycle are entitled to a monthly allowance of GHc150, GHc50, and GHc20 respectively. The management cannot even recall the last time they paid a pesewa to any staff that have duly submitted their car’s or motorbike’s documentation.
In addition, it is mandatory by article 21.2 of our conditions of service for the facility to provide reasonable and appropriate supplies to ensure the safety of nurses at the workplace. There are instances that nurses continue to work in the absence of basic consumables (such as gloves) that one way or the other puts the nurse at risk. Yet we always compromise. It is therefore unfortunate that the management thinks a 5 kilo token of rice is too much for every nurse at the end of the year.
Again, article 21.3 of our rules of engagement requires that the facility provides three (3) set of uniforms and other protective clothing to nurses every year. When was the last time the hospital provided a metre of cloth for nurses’ uniform?
There are one too many mandatory and fringe benefits that nurses are entitled to but have been compromising. However, the management is taking advantage of our leniency and pushing our fragile patience to the limit.
We want management to review this unpopular decision and communicate the feedback to us latest 11th January, 2019. We would advise ourselves accordingly if we receive no formal communication after the aforementioned date.
When reached for their comments management said is ready to meet the demand of the nurses and asked them to be calm while the matter is being resolved.