Coalition of Concerned Nurses and Midwives (CCNM) monitored keenly the events and decisions that ensued in the just ended 16th biennial conference of the Ghana Registered Nurses Midwives Association (GRNMA) held in Cape Coast in the Central Region on the 21st to 24th of November 2017.
It is with deep sorrow and regret for one to belong to such an association which does not have the welfare of its members at heart but their own parochial interest. On that note the Coalition of Concerned Nurses and Midwives will not sit down this time round for the GRNMA to have their way.
To begin with, GRNMA devised a strategy to make members who are not sponsored delegates to stay away from the conference by imposing a hefty amount of GHC 1000.00 per person who wish to observe proceedings at the conference. This CCNM believes was not fair as members have been paying their dues and levies to the association.
As if that was not enough, GRNMA through the conference is trying to force down the throats of nurses and midwives in this country some 33.3% increment of dues without broader consultation with members at the grass root whose monthly deductions is keeping the association alive.
This decision has left many members discombobulated as the dues are already in percentage of 1.5% of their basic salary. The reason for the dues in percentage and not a flat amount is to see the amount increase every year from the annual base pay increments all GoG workers enjoy. There is no justification taking into consideration the various measures they have mentioned to implement hence feel the money would not be enough. This is an attempt to impoverish the ordinary nurse or midwife who is already struggling to pay his/her fees to further his/her education.
These same reasons were given 4 years ago when the last increment in dues came yet members did not see the association do the very things they mentioned as reasons for the increment. GRNMA should think on ways of getting all nurses and midwives onboard and ensure all members pay their dues and used the profit accrued from the existing hostels to run the association.
In 2015, the total number of nurses on government payroll was 38,228 of which if every member should pay their dues the association has no locus to say they are broke because if all these members should pay the association will make a minimum of GhC 382,280.00 every month. CCNM therefore asks the association to find strategies to ensure they widen the net to capture all members and not overburden the few that are committed.
As a leader it is your responsibility to listen to the majority of your members and fight for them.
Secondly the 100% increment of the building Levy being imposed on members is sickening and misplaced. One will ask why the current executives want to complete all hostel projects before exiting office? If there are not enough funds to finish the projects and there are no selfish undertones why the rush?
What is the need for building hostels when members have salaries in arrears, when members’ Condition of service is not being pushed for it’s complete implementation like the other healthcare givers, when members are being harassed by medical superintendents, medical directors and some DDNSs who should know better?
Can the association explain to members how much proceeds have accrued since the current executives took office six years ago? Which account holds the proceeds of these hostels and how are they beneficial to the ordinary member?
A facility that does not make any profit why should the GRNMA continue to secure loan facility to hastily complete them and /or seek to increase by 100% levies for such projects?
CCNM being the mouthpiece for all nurses and midwives in the country, demands answers from GRNMA. No attempt should be made to implement these unwarranted increments since they do not reflect the decision of majority of members across the length and breadth of the country.
A simple survey on Facebook by Nursing in Ghana has showed 96% of nurses and midwives kicking against the decision. This clearly shows that the decision of this increment is misplaced to nurses and midwives.
For the past 6 years when the current executives took office, members have not seen any financial reports to know how the monies they contribute are being used for.
If the hostels are so much of a “hot cake” and give us so much profit then why not use the profit from the completed ones to continue the rest?
And if the existing hostels do not give us profit, then why worry about their completion so fast to the extent of thinking of a loan to hasten their completion or worse still increasing the levy assigned to it by 100%?
CCNM is urging the GRNMA to come out with a date that the current building levy will stop to alleviate the financial burden members are going through since most of the members have their payslips already burdened with lot of deductions from personal loans and insurance facilities to make their lives better.
CCNM is therefore cautioning the GRNMA to suspend the implementation of these impositions until further consultations and call emergency conference to relook at the issues or face en_bloc resignation by members of the association and demand payment of our contributions with accrued interests from time of contributions.
On the 150% increment on the nurses’ fund, we think it is a matter of choice. It should be optional for one to choose the amount he or she wants to invest towards retirement.
GRNMA should be able to give nurses soft loans from this fund. A lot of unions have these schemes and give soft loans to their members and GRNMA can do something similar, for as it stands now we only contribute the monies towards our retirement which is not guaranteed.
So of what benefit will such nurses or midwives derive from the fund if unfortunately they don’t live to their retirement?
GRNMA must be innovative and spare us the too much levies and unauthorized deductions.
Government knows of the hardships at end of each year hence decided to give a pay rise which mostly is around 10%, why would GRNMA use clandestine tactics to rob its members of that money?
It is said that A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. Leadership is not about a title or a designation. One is not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep but afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. The art of communication is the language of leadership hence we expect the leadership of GRNMA to execute competent leadership.
Long live CCNM, Long live Nurses and Midwives in Ghana.
Justice Badam Parmaak
020 327 4133
024 906 0332
(1st vice president)
020 879 9165
024 584 8730
020 419 9159
054 129 0668
Theophilus Kwadwo Doh
020 614 3132
024 227 6258