Minister orders striking psychiatric nurses to return to work

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu has ordered striking psychiatric nurses to return to work. Some nurses at the hospital on Thursday embarked on an industrial action to protest the non payment of their salaries.

The Minister, who believes their actions are unacceptable on Eyewitness News asked them to resume work while government takes measures to resolve their challenges. “I will urge them to return back to work tomorrow. I will honour my word and I stand by the assurances that were given.  It is work in progress, it is not a matter that we have not acted on.”

He was also disappointed in the nurses for embarking on a strike, saying “I am utterly surprised and disappointed at their resort to a strike.” “Indeed you just don’t walk through a strike as it pleases you, there are laws which govern and there are processes. I am disappointed and The Minister explained that the payment of their [nurses] salaries has delayed because of a validation process. “The validation is not done by my Ministry, it is done by the office of the Auditor General and the HR of the Ministry of Health together with the location and place of work of the affected person so we needed to do a bigger work to appreciate when the person reported to work and as I speak to you, the Controller and Accountant General has my word to process their salaries as supplementary.” “If we were to wait to compute the 7,948 we would have been obliged to delay the salaries of all public sector workers so we took the risk which was less burdensome.”

He further wondered why the Nurses had laid down their tools when they recently held discussions with his Ministry regarding the payment of their salaries. “I personally invited them to my office on Tuesday to update them on development on the payment of their salaries and in their presence I reached out to the Controller and Accountant General and the Ministry of Health to appreciate where we were in terms of their payment”