Unemployed Nurses Storm Flagstaff House

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Members of the Coalition for Unemployed Bonded Nurses, Midwives and Psychiatric Nurses say they are going ahead with their planned demonstration scheduled to take place at the Flagstaff House tomorrow.

They say they are tired of deception by the Mahama-led administration and that nothing is stopping them from going ahead with the intended protest.

The aggrieved unemployed nurses, numbering about 2, 241, intend to use the demonstration which is one in a series of planned demonstrations to be organised nationwide, to, among other things, push government to expedite action on their recruitment into the medical service.

It is also intended to compel the Mahama-led administration to compensate them for keeping them unemployed for a period of one year, contrary to the terms and conditions of the bond agreement between them and the state.

President of the coalition, Adam Masahudu, who made this known to the media yesterday in Accra, said, “It is very sad to note, after a successful completion of training about two years ago, we are still here talking about employment when we have been bonded and promised employment immediately after completion.”

According to him, several efforts by the leadership of the coalition to get government address their problem had failed to materialise.

He said government had failed to finalise their clearance from the Ministry of Finance for their subsequent employment.

Lies
Adam Masahudu said that “a recent press release by the Ministry of Health directing all recruiting agencies to start the recruiting processes by issuing out forms was a calculated attempt to stop the impending demonstration.”

Recounting the difficulties they have been facing, he added, “…On the 18th of January 2016, we wrote a letter on this issue to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and copied to the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA). Also, on the 19th of February 2016, a reminder was again written to the MoH.”

He continued…“The above notwithstanding, on the 29th of February 2016, another letter was served to the president, the speaker of parliament, minister of health and parliamentary committee on health but all fell on deaf ears,” adding that “but for the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak with the deputy minister of health after threatened demonstration.”

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The bond conditions, DAILY GUIDE gathered, prohibit the unemployed nurses from taking up jobs with any private health facility over a period of five years, a condition that is further compounding the plight of members of the coalition.

According to them, “The bonded conditions did not only prohibit us from taking up a job elsewhere within five years of our training but also compel government to guarantee our employment after training.”

The aggrieved unemployed nurses accordingly completed school in March 2014 and finished their national service in August 2015.

Even though they were promised immediate employment as per the bond between them and the state, they remain idle up till date, with their “fate in limbo.”

Demands
Thus, according to Mr Masahudu, members of the coalition are demanding, among other things “that all members must be given financial clearance and the list be pasted at all regional health directorate for immediate recruitment.”

He said the coalition wanted an “immediate posting of all members to their various facilities in May 2016 without any delay.”

Furthermore, he said the coalition was demanding the “back dating our appointment letters to September 2015 and paying us same for the time lost.”

‘Evidence-based Unemployment’
They further threatened to follow President John Mahama, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and the Minister of Health, Alex Segbafia, boot-by-boot to any part of the country they will go to run campaign.

That, they said, is to inform Ghanaians that the ‘evidence-based’ development message being propagated by the president and his appointees is misleading and must be replaced with what they described as “evidence-based unemployment” across the length and breadth of the country.