Source: | Staff Writer, Ghana

A Ghanaian pressure group, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) is threatening to sue the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and the Controller and Accountant General (CAG) by next week for unlawful deduction of monies from the salaries of nurses every month.

A press statement released on Friday, July 19 avers that the deduction of these monthly charges from nurses directly from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) is the biggest fraud perpetuated in the country.

The statement, which is signed by the group’s Executive Director, Mensah Thompson, indicated that upon further consultations with their team of lawyers, it appears these deduction are illegal and do not form part of any of the arrangements newly employed nurses are made to undersign to, neither is there any clause in the appointment letters of nurses that says they must automatically be members of this Association.

ASEPA also seeks to find out from the leadership of GRNMA and CAG in court whether nurses have the fundamental freedom to decide to join the association or not since they are automatic members of the larger trade body, Trade Union Congress (TUC). 

It is worth mentioning that, nurses are not the only workers who suffer these monthly deductions but teachers who work for the government too.

According to ASEPA, these monies are deducted without any due processes and most importantly without any mechanism to ensure that there is proper accountability on how these monies deducted from the sweat of nurses and teachers are expended.

This “by force” automatic membership and undue deductions violate the fundamental freedom of association of nurses and must be reviewed.

In the statement, ASEPA indicated that at least GHc 120 is deducted from the salaries of 20, 000 nurses every month and per their calculations that amounts to about GHC 2.4 million which goes into the coffers of GRNMA. For teachers it runs into about GHC 42 million annually.

ASEPA stated that they have written to the CAG asking for further clarifications on these deductions and why they are done directly from source without the legal (written/oral) consent of nurses but they have not received any response yet.

“We have decided to file a legal action against the CAG and the GRNMA by next week, to stop these clear violations of the employment contract of nurses and to force the GRNMA to render thorough accounts for the monies they received so far from these deductions.”

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