Most mortuary workers in the country earn below GHS200 while the highest earner takes home GHS250 as monthly salary, the General Secretary of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MWAG), Richard Kofi Jordan has said.
According to him, members of the Association are the least paid among staff working under the Ghana Health Service (GHS) despite the difficult nature of their job.
“Our salary is bad, when you look at workers under the Ministry of Health (MoH), we take the least pay among them. Some of us take below GHS200 while others receive GHS250 as their gross salary. When they deduct Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) [contributions] how much will be left?” he qustioned in an interview on Ayekoo Ayekoo on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 22 November 2018.
Mr Jordan said mortuary workers are not entitled to leave and even work on holidays but are the least respected in the health profession. He said, apart from the meagre salary they earn, they are not entitled to any allowance or paid for overtime.
“In fact the allowances do not even come at all, and no one pays us for over time, not even on public holidays. During public holidays, we work while other public sector workers are home spending time with their families. At the end of the day, no one gives you anything for working on holidays, not even on Christmas Day. We work day and night which is worrying,” he noted.
Talking about the nature of their work, Mr Jordan said: “We bath the dead after they have defecated on themselves. Almost 80 per cent of the bodies that we receive spoil themselves when they struggle before dying. We clean the mess because we can’t just put them in the fridge.
“Others are brought covered in blood. How can we eat, its disgusting sometimes, and that is why most of us take in alcohol.”
Members of the Association had threatened a nationwide strike over their low wages and unfavourable conditions of service but called it off after a show of good faith following a meeting with the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, and other officials of the health ministry.