Nursing In Ghana

TENSIONS IN GHANA NURSES’ FRONT: WILL THE CENTRE HOLD (Episode 1)

A new group recognized by the Registrar General’s Department as Ghana National Association of Nurses and Midwives (GNANM) intensifies moves to break away from the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA). Coalition of Concerned Nurses and Midwives (CCNM) awaits response to petition presented to National Council of GRNMA to suspend nurses’ levy increments as it considers ultimatum and court action. Financial reports presented to the 2017 delegates conference raises flag as worried nurses sense mismanagement of GRNMA funds and assets.

These issues form the subject matter for a serial reportage to be rolled out by nursinginghana.com from January 2018 as Ghanaian nurses anxiously hope for answers in the coming days. The reportage will expose some worrying observations made in several documents intercepted in the passing month. These documents include executive reports and audited financial statements presented by the GRNMA and other documents related to separation from the association by aggrieved nursing groups.

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Nursinginghana.com is reliably informed that following events at the 16th Biennial Delegates Conference held in Cape Coast in November 2017, a new association of nurses (GNANM) was started by some aggrieved nurses to break away from GRNMA. The certificate of incorporation into the Ghana companies’ registry is dated 14th December, 2017. In an interview with Mr. Maxwell Oduro Yeboah on the 21st December, 2017, the interim president of the new association revealed that steps were being taken to see the association become an independent labour union that would primarily seek the interest of its members.

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He noted that the decision to break away was triggered by a host of concerns which the GRNMA leadership failed to address. Mr. Yeboah explained that “the increment [in nurses’ levies] is even the least of our worries; and that’s why we don’t want to fight the increment…because even minus the increments, we saw that GRNMA has not treated us fairly”. He raised issues of lack of accountability from the leadership and non-beneficial investments made on behalf of nurses by the union, making few references to the nurses’ Trust Fund administered by Axis Pension Trust and the association’s Hostel Projects.

Responding to a statement on whether there had been any official discourse with the GRNMA leadership to attempt to seek a common ground to address their grievances, Mr. Yeboah suggested that the union leadership was not inclined to veer from current management practices. The interim president, however, remarked, “The best thing we should have done was to try and crave the indulgence of the GRNMA, try to sit with them, and try to reason with them…but that we have not done, and we don’t intend to do…” He suggested that the leadership of the union were more inclined to rationalize or justify their decisions rather than come to a compromise.

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The aggrieved president who claimed to have been a regional executive of the GRNMA but resigned due to the same reasons as the breakaway added that “…the GRNMA that I know are not going to barge with pressure.”

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Meanwhile, the CCNM claims it is yet to receive an official response from the GRNMA National Council about the petition to suspend the proposed increments in nurses’ levies from the beginning of 2018. Sources in the leadership of the CCNM had hinted on an ultimatum to be issued, followed by a court action if the petition which was submitted on 12th December, 2017 is not heeded.

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Zutah Tetteh J.

Zutah Tetteh J.

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