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31.01.2009 General News

PSWU urges Government to revisit payment of ex-gratia awards to workers


Members of Northern Region Branch of Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) of Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) have called on Government to revisit the payment of ex-gratia awards to workers.

They observed that since the payment of ex-gratia award for workers was abolished by the NDC Government in 1990 workers had relied only on their Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions, which was inadequate considering the present economic situation.

The call was made at its first monthly meeting in Tamale on Thursday to discuss issues affecting the union and programmes for the year.

The workers said they were particularly unhappy about the situation where Members of Parliament and other high-ranking members of the Executive were being paid “huge sums of money” as ex-gratia when they had been denied the same for years.

They expressed concern about Parliamentarians allegedly being paid GH¢ 560,000 as ex-gratia for serving in the legislature for only a term of four years, saying: “If the trend continues the electorate will lose confidence in politicians since they would be perceived as only serving their interest and not the electorate.”

They appealed to Government not to use revelations from the Transition Committee on Finance as an excuse to suspend or delay the implementation of the single spine pay structure promulgated by the NPP Government.

Mr Charles Dzokoto, Northern Regional Chairman, advised workers who had been granted loans under the students' loan scheme to inform their wives and other relations about them to avoid problems when their pension was due for payment.

He asked them to take proper care of their pay slips to ensure that their SSNIT contributions were regularly deducted, while workers who had acquired houses and other landed properties ensured they had leases and other relevant documents covering them.

Mr Dzokoto noted that Tamale was a growing metropolis therefore, workers who had built houses should obtain the relevant documents in order that in the event of their houses were demolished for re-planning they could be paid the appropriate compensation.