Politics

Set up a commission to look into salaries of public sector workers – GNAT to Akufo-Addo

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called on President Akufo-Addo to set up a commission as part of measures to address the relatively low remuneration of public sector workers.

The Association’s President, Philipa Larsen, speaking at the Eastern regional delegates conference in Koforidua on Thursday stated that the current remunerations seek to favour a particular category of office holders in the public service.

“Conference, the current remuneration in the public sector is not fair. It favours some category of office holders in the public service and we are not going to agree. We will not agree to that. We are asking the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo to as a matter of urgency initiate a process of setting up a commission to look at salary levels of public sector workers in the country,” she said.

Failure to address their grievances, she says will lead to an ungovernable country.

“We are calling on the President otherwise there will be no peace and the country will become ungovernable.”

The Association’s request comes at a time when its members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have laid down their working tools to protest the government’s refusal to heed calls to improve the worsening conditions of service of the university teachers.

The directive in a statement issued by the NEC, and jointly signed by Prof Charles Marfo, the UTAG National President, and Dr Eric K. K. Abavare, the National Secretary took effect Monday, August 2.

According to Mrs Philipa Larsen, the Association reluctantly accepted the low rate of increment to, among other things, meet certain demands of government.

However, indicated that such a decision to increase salaries for 2021 and 2022 by 4 and 7 per cent was not the expectation.

“Mr Chairman, conference, I cannot conclude my message without establishing my greatest displeasure about the 4 per cent and 7 per cent salary increment given to public sector workers for 2021/22 respectively. That is not what we expected. I am sad. All leaders are so sad and that is why we didn’t even have the courage to disclose the outcome of the negotiations but we couldn’t have hidden it forever,” she added.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Ghana Students has called on the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and Senior Staff Association – Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) to call off their planned industrial action and continue negotiations with the government.

They argued that the effect of the pandemic has already disrupted academic activities and that a strike in these “abnormal times will further worsen the plight of the Ghanaian student.”

Government, however, says it is confident the concerns of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and Senior Staff Association will be resolved for them to return to post.

According to Deputy Minister for Employment and Labor Relations Bright Wereko Brobbey, government will meet with leaders of the two striking Unions to find a common ground even as he insists the government had shown commitment to address their issues.

myjoyonline.com

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