The Health Services Workers’ Union (HSWU) has urged the government to pay outstanding contributions of workers’ retirement benefits to provide relief from the current economic hardships.
The Union said it continued to follow up on members’ retirement benefits and had realised that the government still owes the Health Sector Occupational Pensions Scheme for some months, which it said, is affecting members’ retirement lump sum.
“Hence, we call on the government to refund the outstanding contributions to enable the hardworking members to enjoy their retirement.”
A statement signed by Mr. Franklin Owusu Ansah, the General Secretary of HSWU to commemorate this year’s National Health Week celebration said.
It also called on all employers who are not complying with the payment of agreed allowances to go by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and implement it to motivate and encourage members to work hard for better growth.”
The statement further called on the government to ensure and assist the health facilities to go by the Partial implementation of the existing Collective Agreement between the Government, the Ministry of Health, and its Agencies, and the Union for it to be implemented fully.
The one-week celebration started with a series of activities at the regional and district levels on the theme, “Rising Together for Decent Work in the Digital Age.”
The statement said: “In every circumstance, we believe that the Union and the employer as well as the government must be at the bargaining table to negotiate the impacts of the changes associated with digitalisation – to ensure that the new forms of work are safe, that workers have a wage with dignity, that schedules are fair, and that workers share in the gains of new efficiencies.
“We cannot talk about digitalization and not talk about the issues of public sectors outsourcing most of the jobs to private organizations. We believe this poses a serious challenge to our members who are still in the system as they work more with few workers. Some of the outsourcing sectors are hospital orderlies, security, catering services, drivers and to mention but a few,” it added.
In the face of that, the Union called on employers to give sufficient skill training and notice before technology is introduced to allow time for an assessment relating to the impact on safety, expectations, job security, privacy, and other issues.
Also, monitoring and data collection must be proportionate to legitimate business needs and the parties have to evaluate whether less intrusive means are available.
The statement added that monitoring should be based on the premise that the work environment is based on mutual trust and respect, among others.
“In its entirety, decent work in a Digital Age must include a just transition that protects jobs and conditions and ensures that the gains made possible through digital technologies are widely and broadly shared,” it added.
It said the HSWU aimed to promote a fair and inclusive working environment that ensures no worker is left behind due to advancements in technology and management systems.
“A regulatory approach together with collective bargaining action are the keys to achieving an outcome that is ethical and safe.
Through these measures, we can help safeguard workers from job displacement and ensure work with dignity while maximizing the benefits gained from new technologies,” it added.
It, therefore, wished all members a fruitful anniversary celebration and congratulated them for their hard work and contribution to making the nation great and strong through quality healthcare delivery.
The HSWU, as part of its Union’s policy, celebrates the event by giving accounts of its achievements and challenges every year.
It is also to appreciate the contributions of the Government, Employers and Members as well as bring to light issues of challenges affecting the country.