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Expectations and Implications for Court Action: GRNMA-Coalition Discussions

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The fate of nurses and midwives in Ghana hangs in a balance as concerns raised about its labour union’s intention to increase various levies remain unaddressed. Many, however, have reported entertaining some hopes after the January 2018 payslips released by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department did not reflect the intended deductions.

This development comes after two separate factions within the union took major moves against the decision which many describe as unfair and insensitive on the part of the leadership of the GRNMA.

Following a petition presented to the national council of the union by the Coalition of Concerned Nurses and Midwives (CCNM), the leadership appears to have been compelled to hold discussions with CCNM to bring finality to the matter.

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In a letter signed by Dr. Kwaku Asante-Krobea, the president of the GRNMA, he suggested that the decision to bring CCNM to the table was hinged on several consultations with the national council.

It is uncertain, however, as to what the outcome of the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 might be. But one of two events are likely to be reached. Given the disposition of the GRNMA president in his media interviews since the November 2017 conference where the increments were proposed, nurses and midwives in Ghana could expect the same reluctance by the union leadership to rescind the increments.

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In the unfortunate event that the GRNMA fails to call off the increment move, a court action is likely to be initiated as threatened by the CCNM in a recent circular. On constitutional grounds, the decision to impose the said increments reportedly appear to have been flawed on several counts.

First, Article 40 clause 3 of the union’s constitution requires the national council to circulate any amendment proposal 28 clear days before the delegates conference. This appears not to have been followed strictly. Most importantly, the 2/3rd majority vote required to amend the current 1.5% association dues deduction as provided for by Article 40 clause 5 of the constitution was not reached.

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Another major voting flaw was the lumping up of the 3 increment motions (dues, nurses fund, building levy) to be voted on at once.

The above notwithstanding, gross inconsistencies have been sighted in a post-conference report supposedly prepared by Mabel Naa Sackley Adamah and Erica Kessewa Archer. These observations among other things would be making the subject of debate and cross examinations as CCNM prepares to settle the ‘case-of-increments’ in court in the event that Wednesday’s meeting is unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the newly-formed Ghana National Association of Nurses and Midwives (GNANM) continues to expand its membership and intensifies moves toward independence from the GRNMA.

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