It was a spectacle of disappointments mixed with seeming rage and sentiments at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital lecture hall yesterday, February 21, 2018 as the Central Regional Council of the GRNMA held its first meeting for the year. The harmony with which the meeting commenced was soon shrouded when the 2017 Biennial Delegates Conference was brought up for discussion.
The meeting which was held to discuss among other things the Best Nurses Awards, GRNMA Souvenirs, District Reports, and the 16th Biennial Delegates Conference took a sentimental turn when the subject of increments in nurses’ Association Dues, Building Levies and Trust Fund deductions was raised.
The Central Regional Secretary of the GRNMA, Mr. Alfred Addy presented a report of the delegates conference, touting the region’s role as the host and highlighting the success of the conference. In the 2-page report, it was also stated that the “decision [to increase nurses’ levies] was largely embraced by Conference though Upper West and Northern Regions abstained from the processes involved.”
Responding to the report and statements by the secretary and the regional chairperson, Madam Mercy Charwey; members of the council condemned the processes by which the region adopted the motion to increase nurses’ levies and its subsequent presentation at Conference. Council members claimed that they were unaware of the motion and that such a constitutional matter should have been brought to council for deliberation.
The Central Regional branch of the GRNMA has since Conference been blamed by some members of the region for moving the ‘motion of increments.’ Members of council for the region in their individual presentations at the meeting distanced themselves from the motion and called for a vote to initiate moves to revoke the supposed resolution of Conference.
Speaking for Efutu Municipality, Mr. Obed Kwabena Mensah raised questions about the way delegates were selected to represent the region, putting it to the council that it was unconstitutional for regional executives to appoint persons to represent the region without the knowledge of council. The regional secretary rebutted, stating that although the constitution required the council to elect representatives, it was silent on the mode of election.
Mr. Alfred Addy and Mr. Frank Arhin, the 2nd Vice Regional Chairman, told the meeting that they took the decision to propose the increments and to select the regional representatives to Conference in the interest of nurses, explaining further that the association needed money to complete its building projects and to support its activities at the district levels.
Mr. Gaddiel Kwesi Nkum Afrifa, (Asikuma Odeben Brakwa), Mr. Seth Nii Okai (Ewutu Senya East) and Mr. Shadrach Otoo (Cape Coast District) on behalf of their districts called for reconsideration of the supposed decision of increments taken at Conference. Their positions were rehashed by representatives of other districts.
In her closing statement, Madam Mercy Charwey promised to relay the grievances put forward to the national council, although she did not accept to vote on suggestions by members to initiate moves to call off the increments. The meeting was attended by representatives from 20 districts in the region, in addition to representatives from the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital.
The nurse activist and Local Secretary of Psychiatric Nurses Group, Mr. Malcom Akatinga Ali was also present at the meeting on behalf of the Psychiatric Nurses Group to brief the council on matters relating to nurses at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital and the embattled hospital director Dr. Eugene Dordoye.