The Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) has indicated that it will petition President Akufo-Addo over the exclusion of its members from the list of frontline workers to benefit from the government’s COVID-19 incentive packages.
Nana Akufo-Addo extended the tax rebates for health workers for three more months as they continue to lead the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president also said agitations over who qualified as a frontline worker have been addressed with health workers falling under this category to enjoy 50 percent of their basic salary as allowances for the months of July, August and September.
In a statement to the President, however, the mortuary workers say they are at a complete loss as to why they have been sidelined from the additional motivational packages given the essential services they also provide amidst the disease outbreak.
“The MOWAG is positive that the exclusion of its membership is an oversight. If that supposition is correct, then we would hereby respectfully urge Government to cause the inclusion of our membership in the eligibility list.”
“We wish to remind that the membership of the MOWAG Mortuary Workers is the final group who handle the remains of the dead including COVID-19 victims. It should, therefore, be only a matter of course to include mortuary workers in this package.”
The association continued by expressing worry over what they describe as the continuous unfair treatment meted out to them in the distribution of special healthcare reliefs.
“It is our candid view that the inclusion of the membership of the MOWAG will go along to shed off the view that, that segment of the essential workforce has been treated unfairly for a long time. It is our view that this is one opportunity to cancel that impression.”
President Akufo-Addo announced the extension of the incentive during his 13th national address on Sunday, June 28, 2020, where he gave an update on Ghana’s response measures against the continuous rise in the number of COVID-19 infections in the country.
The President first announced the three-month tax holiday for the health workers at the beginning of April 2020.
Although the free tax package has been implemented, that of the 50 percent allowance is yet to be carried out given the seeming controversy over the definition and qualification of a frontline health worker.
However, President Akufo-Addo says issues with the packages as earlier announced for the past three months have been resolved with the rollout of the payment plan to begin soon.
He said the incentives form part of the government’s commitment to ensuring that health workers are supported as they deliver essential services to the populace especially amidst the outbreak of Coronavirus.
“This is, in part, due to the immense dedication and hard work being exhibited by our healthcare workers, who continue to care for those affected by the virus, and for the sick in general.”