The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has said the directive by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) that public sector workers will not be paid from December if they do not have a Ghana card as “preposterous”.
In a statement, GNAT said: “We wish to state that the said public notice is not only unfortunate, but preposterous, egregious, and intimidating and that Ghanaian workers would not stand such knee-jerk approaches to solve someone else’s laissez-faire attitude towards resolving perceived shortcomings and lapses in the [payroll] system.”
“We wish to emphasise that it is the onus of the NIA to ensure all workers secure the NIA cards, so the NIA should liaise with the CAGD, the employers, and the workers themselves to have the cards issued them (the workers) and save them (the workers) from being held hostage, by the CAGD. We are not happy that workers would be held to ransom and harassed, as a result of the operational lapses of both the NIA and the CAGD.”
GNAT urged the CAGD to rather “help facilitate the process and stop intimidating and harassing workers.”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), the umbrella body of some workers in Ghana, has served notice that it will test the authority of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department in tying the salaries of public sector workers to the Ghana card, in court.
“We are going to test the authority of the Controller on the use of the Ghana Card as the sole form of identity for the payment of salaries in court”, General Secretary Abraham Koomson said on Thursday.
The GFL wondered why the CAGD is rather not using the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) card of workers for that purpose.
Mr Koomson said the federation is considering holding discussions with the leadership of some other public sector workers to test the authority of the Controller as far as the directive is concerned.
“For the Controller to say it will not pay the salaries of workers who do not have Ghana card as a form of identity on their personal data is absurd”, Mr Koomson stressed.
“As a federation, we will not sit down for our members to be mistreated by the Controller”, he warned.
He urged the Controller to come clean on the directive before things get out of hand.
Mr Koomson contended that some workers have registered for the Ghana card since last year but are yet to receive it from the National Identification Authority (NIA).
“So why the hurry for the Controller to tie the payment of salaries of workers to the acquisition of the Ghana card?” he queried.
He said it was high time the government took steps to ensure that all salary workers are registered before such fiats were issued.
“If this action is targeted at people who are not working to stop receiving salaries, then it is good but for workers who have been validated to have worked, it’s problematic”, he observed in an interview with Neat FM.