PSI Regional Secretary David Dorkenoo presents the award to the
On the occasion of World Public Services Day, 23 June 2011, the global union federation Public Services International is proud to announce that the second annual PSI Public Service Trade Union Award goes to the Health Services Workers’ Union of Ghana in 2011.
A small union with a big heart and major achievements to its credit, the Health Services Workers’ Union of Ghana is truly an exemplary union which defends quality public health services by fighting for decent work and promoting trade union rights for all health workers. This has had a direct effect in lessening the need for skilled health workers to migrate and seek decent work outside their country, while increasing the quality of public health services within Ghana.
The HSWU has established itself as a centre for the promotion of health services in Ghana and across West Africa. The union contributes to important solidarity actions, providing networking and assistance to under-resourced sister unions in neighbouring countries. HSWU founded and sustains the West Africa Health Sector Union Network. HSWU also publishes a health news bulletin that provides information to both health workers and the public.
The HSWU has carried out important work on migration issues. The World Health Organisation listed Ghana as country facing a crisis in human resources for health. By winning rights and improving conditions for health workers, this union has helped to reduce the number of skilled workers leaving the country.
HSWU, together with the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, developed a pre-decision and information kit to provide potential migrant health workers with important information on migration realities in other countries as well as extending support services to migrating health workers.
The HSWU has worked closely with the Ghana Registered Nurses Association in a campaign called Health Care Workers Are Not for Sale, defending quality health care services in Ghana and winning better salaries and improved working conditions for health care workers.
HSWU, together with other unions and health workers associations, formed themselves into a Health Workers Group (HWG), which played a critical role in the job evaluation and salary negotiations with the government over several years. Their relentless and active engagement in representing the interest of their members, who comprise 95% of the total Ghanaian health workforce, ultimately led to an upward adjustment of pay for all health workers.