TUC urges government to ignore pressure from the IMF
6/15/2012 12:30:28 AM -
Kumasi, June 14, GNA - The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has said it will not countenance any policy that will further worsen the economic situation of Ghanaian workers and their families.
It called government to ignore pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to remove subsidies on petroleum products, noting that, fuel price increases would bring untold economic suffering to the people.
Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the GTUC, said workers were already facing severe economic problems and any action to aggravate their plight would be fiercely resisted.
He said this when addressing the 10th quadrennial delegates' conference of the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) in Kumasi.
The four-day conference is under the theme: 'Public sector pay reforms: the impact on the health worker.'
Mr Asamoah called on the government and employers to work towards a realistic living wage.
Continued agitation by workers and industrial unrest, which has characterized the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) in the public sector, he said, was a manifestation of the inability of the new pay reforms to address the financial needs of the Ghanaian worker.
'It is time for the country to move towards the implementation of a living wage for workers in Ghana.'
Mr Asamoah said there was the need for the government to adequately resource the hospitals and health centres by providing facilities that would improve the working conditions of staff and promote quality health care delivery.
He also touched on the rising political temperature as preparation towards the December polls intensified and implored politicians to be civil in the conduct of their electioneering campaigns.
He said the elections should be about issues confronting the people and therefore the political platform should be used for healthy discourse and not for vilification and personality attacks.
Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health, spoke of plans to introduce non-monetary incentives such as free accommodation and payment of utility bills for health personnel working in rural and deprived areas.
He commended members of the HSWU for their deep sense of purpose and advocacy for good labour practices not only in Ghana but the West African sub-Region.
He advised them to focus not only on their needs but those of their patients.
Mr Abu D. Kuntulo, General Secretary of Union, complained of dissatisfaction of the members with their pay levels.
He said eight months into their migration onto the SSSS, distortions and irregularities in their salaries remained unresolved adding that members who accepted postings to deprived areas are being denied 'payment of deprived area incentive allowances' as well as training.
Mr Kuntulo called on the government to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, 183 on maternity protection and 189 on domestic workers, to open doors to socio-economic improvement of women and the vulnerable in society.