In a sequel to previous write up where the facts as presented by FWSC was put out, it's appropriate for same to be done for GBC and Public Services Workers' Union so readers can have a balanced view of the ongoing brouhaha regarding unearned allowances.
In a response to FWSC by GBC dated 8th May, 2023 in reference to Payroll Monitoring of GBC, the Director-General of the Corporation responded as follows:
I write and state for the Commission's information as follows:
1. All the issues raised in your letter border on negotiated allowances for staff of GBC, therefore,
I write to request that same be brought to the attention of the Unions ( the Senior Staff Management Union [SMSU] and the GBC Divisional Union through the Public Service Workers Union, PSWU) for further engagements.
2. Notwithstanding the request in point No.1 above, I further write on and respond to the payments labeled as being an anomaly as follows:
b. Six (6) out of the nine (9) allowances raised in your letter are negotiated allowances between GBC's Unions through their mother Union, the PSWU, and Government, which have been approved and captured in their Collective Agreements (CA). Listed
hereunder are the sources of the allowances so authorized:
i. Computer Allowance is enshrined under Article 40(J) of the Unionized CA.
ii. Rent Allowance is enshrined under Regulation 44 of the conditions of service of the SMSU.
iii. Domestic Servant Allowance (cleaner) is enshrined under Regulation 45 of the Conditions of Service of the SMSU,
iv. Domestic Servant Allowance (Night Watchman) is enshrined under Regulation 45 of the Conditions of Service of the SMSU,
v. Entertainment Allowance is enshrined under Regulation 51 of the Conditions of Service of SMSU,
vi. Vehicle Maintenance Allowance is enshrined under Regurauon 46 of the Conditions of Service of the SMSU,
c. Management concedes and agrees with the FWSC that the following under-listed three (3) Allowances are entitlements under category 4 Allowances, They are:
i. Domestic Servant Allowance (Cook)
ii. Housing Allowance
iii. Utility Allowance
d. The processing of the allowances mentioned in your letter by CAGD, are payments authorized by the Ministry of Finance, post Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS). The payments, therefore, are not anomalous, they are payments processed with due regard to the statutes for processing of emoluments within the Public Service of the Republic of Ghana.
e. Thus, if the FWSC feels it is within its mandate to call for their renegotiation, then GBC Management will request the FWSC to initiate action with the PSWU accordingly.
I have attached copies of the Collective Agreement between the PSWU and Management, and the Conditions of Service agreement between Senior Management Staff Union and The Board for your reference.
We are optimistic that the above explanations suffice to enable you to move forward with the discussion of negotiated allowances for GBC staff.
Notwithstanding the above, the Public Sector Workers Union (PSWU) also wrote to the FWSC on the 11th May, 2023 cautioning them to engage than to unilaterally implement their stance. Portions of their letter read as follows?
We extend to you warm regards of the Union and further object to the immediate stoppage, taken off and refund of Allowances paid to staff of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) as requested by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) in its letter to the CAGD dated 20th April, 2023.
This follows our receipt of a letter from the Management of the GBC dated 8th May, 2023 with Reference DG/LTRS'39123157 responding to a letter dated 12th April 2023 from the Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) on Payroll Monitoring for GBC.
PSWU argues that the Allowances in question were negotiated in the past for the staff of the Corporation which has become part of their conditions and consequently enshrined in the Collective Agreement (C.A). It is pertinent to state that they were not the subject of the recent negotiations (concluded between the Union and the FWSC) that reviewed Category 2&3 Institutional Specific Allowances for Staff of GBC. Their unilateral withdrawal from the payroll could therefore be construed as an ambush and unfair labour practice by the FWSC, make a significant number of Staff worse off and lead to agitations which could destabilize the peaceful industrial atmosphere and affect the productivity and operations of the Corporation.
It is also instructive to note that all Public Sector Organizations were to be migrated from the GUSS unto Controller Payroll with all existing allowances and benefits as in the existing C.A at the time. While anticipating your usual cooperation in not proceeding with a unilateral stoppage of the Allowances, we wish to express our availability to engage on the matter for an amicable solution.
Meanwhile, Local Unions across the country have held meetings to take a position and decide the way forward.
Stay tuned for further information.