The Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) is threatening strike should the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) fail to conclude an agreement on their conditions of service.

In a press statement to mark International Labour Day, MELPWU said the absence of Conditions of Service tailored to the needs and challenges of medical laboratory science professionals leaves their members vulnerable to exploitation and unfair treatment at the workplace.

“MELPWU represents a vital segment of healthcare workers, whose dedication and expertise are essential for the functioning of healthcare systems in Ghana. Our members deserve better working conditions, competitive salaries, and opportunities for career advancement,” parts of the statement read.

“The continued neglect of these issues not only undermines the morale of medical laboratory science professionals but also jeopardises the quality of healthcare services provided to the public,” they added.

Despite their desperate efforts to conclude negotiations, MELPWU is unhappy with the lack of urgency and progress with the FWSC.

Additionally, the union indicated that they are concerned about the plight of unemployed medical laboratory science professionals, who are facing financial hardship and uncertainty due to the lack of financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance.

The union stated that highly skilled individuals invest in years of rigorous training and education to qualify for their profession and continue to keep their licenses active to fulfil employment conditions.

However, they remain unemployed despite hospitals across the country having very few medical laboratory science professionals, MELPWU stated.

“It is imperative that urgent action is taken to address this situation and provide them with the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the healthcare sector. The shortage of qualified medical laboratory science professionals in healthcare facilities across the country is compelling facility heads to engage the services of our unemployed colleagues but underpaying them against provision of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) in Sections 10(b); 68 (1); 74 (2)(a); 75(1).”

“It is extremely disheartening to note that some of these professionals have been on the same salary for several years without an increment in pay even when base pay in the public sector is increased. Obviously, this is an unfair labour practice.”

MELPWU gave the FWSC a three-week ultimatum, stating that should they fail to reach an agreement on improved conditions of service and other issues raised, they will embark on a strike on May 20.

“As advocates for the rights and welfare of medical laboratory science professionals, MELPWU remains committed to working collaboratively with all the agencies, healthcare institutions, and relevant stakeholders to address these pressing issues to ensure a fair and dignified working environment for all.”

Read the full statement below: