Accra, Oct. 31, GNA - Members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association-Ghana (CLOGSAG) on Wednesday defied the National Executives directives to embark on a nationwide strike action from October 31st.
CLOGSAG National Executives on October 30th declared an indefinite nationwide strike on Wednesday October 31st claiming; “The strike action is in response to failure on the part of government and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to address outstanding issues with regard to the payment of premium to its members.”
A visit to some Ministries and Departments by the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday revealed that workers were at post and attending to their normal work schedules.
At the Civil Servants Association Headquarters, the offices were however closed but there were no red banners to signify something was amiss, as it’s usually done.
At the premises of the Department of Community Development, there were two pieces of red banners at the main entrance but workers were seen performing their normal duties.
Some workers told the GNA that even though they heard about the strike action on air, they are waiting for an official communiqué from the National Executives of CLOGSAG before they would decide on what to do.
They wondered: “why Members of Parliament are going to be paid Gh¢7,200.00, which would be back dated from January 2009, whilst workers of Civil and Local Government, when promoted, takes several months or years before getting paid.”
However, a labour officer at the Labour Department was doubtful if CLOGSAG has exhausted all channels and processes with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Labour Commission before declaring the strike.
The GNA noticed a van going round the Ministries urging CLOGSAG members to stay off work until their demands were met.
CLOGSAG on Tuesday, October 30th directed its national, regional and district offices to be closed down effective Wednesday October 31st, 2012 to mark the beginning of an indefinite industrial action.
Mr Isaac Bampoe-Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG said the strike action was in response to failure on the part of government and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to address outstanding issues with regard to the payment of premium to its members.
He noted that the industrial action was necessitated by pressure being mounted by members on the national executives, who have been accused of sympathizing with the government.
“Most of our members have expressed disgust at the national executives for perceived sympathy for government, whilst their legitimate concerns have not been dealt with for over a year,” he said.
Mr. Bampoe-Addo said; “We express our utter dismay and disappointment at the delay in resolving the issue of payment of premium to staff within the CLOGSAG”.
He said following series of meetings from September 2011 to October 2012 with government and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the formation of committees to thrash out the outstanding issues, there has not been any positive response.
He recalled that a task force set up in September 2011 by the Minister of Employment and Social Welfare to deal with negative effects of migration of CLOGSAG members on to the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) was a fiasco.
Mr. Bampoe-Addo observed that other institutions have been treated with some respect regarding the negative impact of converting them onto the SSSS, and therefore CLOGSAG expected similar treatment for its members during the migration process, but this has not happened for over a year now.
He said however that, following uneasy calm, tension and frustration of members due to unfair and inequitable treatment, with respect to payment of their premium, the National Executive Council convened a meeting to examine the situation, which led to the suspension of an imminent strike in July 2012.
He catalogued series of meetings with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Office of the Head of Civil Service, the Local Government Secretariat and the Controller and Accountant General, after which a technical committee was set up to look into their concerns, which have still not been addressed.
Mr. Bampoe-Addo stated that “the National Executive Committee has no option than to carry out the directives of the National Executive Council of the association by declaring a nationwide strike with effect from Wednesday 31st October, 2012”.