The Sad Story of 2 Sacked Pregnant Officers of the GNFS

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…How they Sold Iced Water for Living for 4 years

Ghananewsonline.com.gh has gathered that in 2013 and 2014, Grace Fosu and Thelma Hammond, serving officers with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) were each slapped with dismissal for getting pregnant within the first three years of their employment into the service. Regulations 33 (6) of the condition of service for the GNFS; debars service women from getting pregnant within the first three years of their employment into the Service.

According to our information, Grace and Thelma were among a group of service women who fell foul of that Regulation (33(6)).

However, on June 12, 2014, the GNFS recalled all the other victims of the Regulation, allowed them to wear maternity dresses, and gave them maternity leave, leaving out Grace and Thelma.

Left with no other alternative, the two ladies had to brace the storm in their lives by taking to selling iced-water to fend for themselves and their pregnancies. A situation that gave them hard times and wearing them down completely as pregnant women. Also their finances have since been badly affected, and they are having to live at the mercy of others.

CHRAJ AND COURT TO THE RESCUE

Not happy with this development, the two victims petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) which upheld that their dismissal was a flippant abuse and violation of their Human Rights. CHRAJ in turn sued GNFS and AG at the Human Rights Court.

COURT DECISION – GNFS IS HOT

The court, presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah, in its judgement, upheld that the Regulation 33(6) of the condition of service of the GNFS is discriminatory, unjustifiable, illegitimate, and illegal. The court subsequently ruled that the two were dismissed illegally, and should therefore be compensated with GH¢ 50,000 each. Besides, they should be reinstated with immediate effect, and also all their salaries and benefits that accrued within the period paid. It also awarded a cost of GH¢10,000 against the GNFS.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MESS?

Further information gathered indicate that this is not an isolated case, as some other officers who were treated in similar and unfair manner had to struggle it out with the GNFS in court for their reinstatement and payment of compensation to such victims. These actions which we gathered emanated from frustration, harassment and maltreatment of staff, always end up causing financial loss to the cash – tripped service.

As at now, it is not clear whether GNFS will go for an appeal against this sentence.

INVESTIGATION AND SANCTIONS

Since the acts of harassments, molestation, frustration, et all seem to have been the order of the day at GNFS, with the perpetrators of such acts running away with it, isn’t it high time that thorough investigations were conducted into these acts, and perpetrators punished or sanctioned appropriately?

If this happens, the powers that be at the place, who perpetrate such acts will get advised and thus refrain from these unwarranted acts that end up causing unwarranted financial loss to the Ghana National Fire Service.

Source: S.O Ankamah

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