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National Arbitration in Ghana Postponed

Friday, October, 21, 2011

National arbitration in the West African nation of Ghana has been postponed, with the National Labor Commission rescheduling a government arbitration session that was supposed to take place this week.  At issue is the delivery of medical services to communities across the nation; doctors have been on strike for two weeks already and with the arbitration postponed, there may be no end in sight.


The GMA (Ghana Medical Association) had hoped to bring an end to the salary dispute they currently have with the FWSC (Fair Wages and Salary Commission).  The main objection of commission was the decision by the doctors to adopt a salary structure with a single spine.  The two parties attempted negotiations on their own for several months.  Finally, the commission ordered them into mandatory arbitration.  Thus far, however, scheduled arbitration sessions have been delayed.


National Arbitration Still a Possibility

Dr. Sodzi Sodzi Tetteh, speaking for the GMA, insisted that the doctors were not being stubborn and commented that their demands were in fact reasonable.  "The GMA is not even particularly demanding money per se, and we are simply not asking that everything should be addressed at a go; but we need to be made sure that the way the problems are going to be addressed is well understood and well outlined.”


Labour analyst Ben Agbai expressed high hopes that the mandatory arbitration would be effective once the process was underway.