Mr Lawrence Yine, the National Chairman of the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers Union (MELPWU) is calling on government to consider payment of laboratory coat allowances to its members.
He said Medical Laboratory professionals wore protective clothing in their working environment just like other professionals who use uniforms and took allowances for same.
"The lab coat is our uniform, others take coat and uniform allowance, and so what is the difference that we shouldn't be paid lab coat allowance," the MELPWU National Chairman said.
Mr Yine, who made the call in an interview with journalists in Bolgatanga, capital of the Upper East Region, on the side-line of the maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the MELPWU, said "If others deem it fit and they are taking allowances, why not, we have to also take it."
The two-day maiden AGM including the launch of the MELPWU is on the theme; "Building a strong trade union, mobilising for a real deal," and brought together members of the MELPWU from across the country.
Mr Yine explained that the MELPWU was a body of laboratory professionals in Ghana who broke away from the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU),
"We feel that Union hosts a lot of professionals, and with that, we cannot get what we want as a professional body."
The National Chairman stressed that the HSWU had many professionals clustered together, which made it difficult for Medical Laboratory professionals who had unique challenges with regards to their work to push for better conditions of service for its members.
"So, we decided that we have to come out from them and form our Union as professionals. That is the reason why we are on our own now to enable us champion the welfare and other socio-economic needs of our members," Mr Yine said.
According to the Chairman, the risks involved in their work as compared to other members of the HSWU were higher, insisting that "The HSWU alone cannot help us, if you look at the work we do as compared to others.
"We decided to disassociate ourselves so that we can remain independent and bargain to help our members. The Medical Laboratory fraternity has suffered for so long in terms of conditions of service. So with this, we can help bargain for ourselves to improve our welfare," Mr Yine added.
The MELPWU Chairman noted that they were not interested in any form of labour instability within the health service sector in the country, "That is not our purpose of forming the Union, it is to better the conditions of service within our profession."
Mr Yine further called for motivation for members of the MELPWU, explaining that "Motivation here doesn't mean money, but good equipment and conducive environment to work. There are places where medical laboratory scientists work in dilapidated buildings without the right tools
"This is very demotivating, and these are some of the things that demotivate a lot of people. So, we want government to look at the aspect where some of our members are posted to remote areas without the necessary equipment to produce results," he said.