The Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG), has called off its intended industrial action scheduled to begin yesterday, Thursday October 01,2020.
This is after an emergency meeting held between the Government and the Association on Tuesday September 29th, agreed to address concerns of the workers and ensure the implementation of a favourable working condition for them by October 28th, this year.
The Association, on Saturday September 24, issued a statement to notify Government that its members would withdraw their services from today, if issues on their “poor” condition of service were not addressed.
In a communiqué, jointly signed Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (for the Government) and Richard Kofi Jordan, General Secretary of MOWAG, (for the Association), the meeting agreed; that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission collaborates with MOWAG to resolve all issues related to the Association’s salaries and allowances, taking into consideration the risks and uniqueness of the job of members.
It also agreed that mortuary attendants in health facilities with recorded cases of COVID-19 deaths be considered front-line workers and be given benefits.
The meeting also asked that the Ministry of Health expedited action on the issuance of appointment letters to eligible mortuary workers and that the Ministry of Health should ensure the provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to mortuary workers in all health facilities at all times.
The Association was asked to liaise with the Labour Department to resolve matters relating to the issuance of a Collective Bargaining Certificate to MOWAG and that all decisions reached, be implemented within a month and convened among the stakeholders including; MOWAG on or before October 27, 2020, to bring finality to the discussions.
Mr Jordan told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Accra on Thursday that, the Association and its members were happy that the agreement had time lines.
“Now the government has committed its self by giving and agreeing on a time and so it means that if nothing happens within a month, MOWAG will not be blamed for anything that happens, we expect the Government to do the needful once they have agreed,” he said.
Mr Jordan noted that “this is the first time the Association has had such a positive response from the Government,” saying ‘if the Government has now realised that it is prudent to pay attention to mortuary workers, we are ready and willing to make sure peace prevails.”
He said members of the Association were working in all mortuary facilities across the country and urged the public to visit the mortuaries to pick up their dead relatives.
Mr Jordan claimed that since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme, mortuaries had become the core revenue mobilization point for the Scheme, because it generated a lot of money for the Government and bemoaned the “low attention given to players in the death care industry in Ghana”.