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Health ministry’s actions appalling – Striking Laboratory Workers

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The Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) has expressed its dismay over the Ministry of Health’s response to its ongoing strike.

The Ministry of Health has requested that MELPWU suspend its countrywide strike, initiated on June 17, 2024, and engage in further discussions.

The strike by MELPWU was triggered by unsatisfactory service conditions for its members, following almost two years of unfruitful discussions with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC). The union found the most recent meeting on May 31, 2024, to be underwhelming.

Contrarily, the Ministry of Health announced on June 17, 2024, that the negotiations had seen considerable advancements, with the Government Negotiations Team agreeing to most of the items proposed.

Dr Franklyn Armah, the First Vice Chairman of MELPWU, clarified in an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News on Citi FM that the Ministry’s announcement was made to the public and was not a direct communication to the union.

Unlike the Ministry, he said the union wrote to the Ministry telling it of the union’s intention.

Dr Armah said it was therefore disrespectful and unfair for the Ministry to put out such a statement and not reach out to them.

He also noted that the union had not been invited to any meeting to resolve the matter and that the strike was still effective.

“…It is important to put on record that our members are extremely appalled by the actions of the MoH. The reasons are that we wrote to them specifically serving notice of this intention of our members who are frustrated, and they could have written to us. But what they put out there is a public statement for everybody and that is why we also took the same [position]. We feel that it is most unfair,” he stated.

He added, “…We have not been called; we have not been invited to have important meetings to resolve this matter.”

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