The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has claimed that it was unaware of pharmacists’ threat to strike.
Pharmacists in Public Health Facilities have given government an ultimatum, declaring that if it does not resolve all outstanding issues relating to their market premiums in one week, they will go on strike.
They say the market premiums of other government workers on the single spine salary structure, including those of doctors, have been paid while theirs have been left in arrears in spite of their January petition to the National Labour Commission.
National Chairman of the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association Steven Corquaye told Joy News that pharmacists are running out of patience.
In a response, FWSC Chief Executive Officer George Smith Graham told Joy News that he has not seen any formal complaints from the pharmacists.
Listening to some of Mr Corquaye’s grievances enumerated on radio, Mr Graham said that if pharmacists think they deserve a market premium, they must follow the guidelines spelt out by the Commission.
According to him, all members of the medical fraternity, pharmacists included, are enjoying an interim arrangement that partially covers their market premiums.
He was therefore surprised that the pharmacists are complaining about market premiums.
He appealed to the pharmacists to wait patiently for the new guidelines that will clearly spell out what procedures to follow as far as market premiums are concerned.
Graham also dismissed assertions the Finance Ministry has not been part of salary negotiations with health workers.
He said that at no point in time has the Commission engaged public workers in salary negotiations without the presence and input of Finance Ministry officials.