Neutrality Allowance: Gov’t failed to learn from past experience on SSSS – Edudzi

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Private legal practitioner and member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Gordon Edudzi Tameklo has said that the current Akufo-Addo administration has failed to learn from past experience when it comes to salaries and negotiations for public sector workers.

He said this in relation to the Neutrality Allowance that is being demanded by members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG).

Members of CLOGSAG began an indefinite strike on Thursday, April 21 over the nonpayment of the neutrality allowance.

CLOGSAG said it was noted that payment of the Neutrality Allowance they demanded had not been effected as agreed in spite of official reminders and follow ups to the Ministry of Finance.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday April 30, Mr Tameklo said “What this government has failed to do is to learn from the past. I do not know whether it is the question of arrogance. When the NDC in 2009 inherited Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), one of the challenges we encountered was the question of market premium.

“What the market premium did was that you have a situation where Fair Wages and Salaries negotiating a certain market premium for University lecturers, for teachers, among others. That premium created equal uncertainties within labour and so I expect that the benefit of experience will inure to the benefit our friends in government today so that you don’t go discussing matters on Neutrality Allowance.

“You could have basically just enhanced the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) at a certain percentage, you cover for the increasing cost of living, among other things, instead of introducing this nomenclature. It is destabilizing factor and I can tell you, without sounding prophetic, that by close of year all other unions are going to demand their neutrality allowance.”

Meanwhile, the government has agreed to pay the Neutrality Allowance to members of the CLOGSAG.

But the government wants the name ‘Neutrality Allowance’ changed.

Head of Local Government Services, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, told TV3’s Daniel Opoku in interview on Monday April 25 that “Both parties government and CLOGSAG have shown a very good faith as far as this is concerned . Government was very transparent…

“…We are pleading with you CLOGSAG, we can only implement that allowance that we say we are going to give to you, forget about the terminology that we call it. Because today, that terminology, that nomenclature doesn’t sit well with us as government.

“So let us have a team to look at how it is going to be called however, that allowance, we will give to you effective the last quarter of the year, from October.

“CLOGSAG accepted the offer, that was last Friday.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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