SOME 112 staff members of Ghana Telecom have voluntarily tendered their resignation letters to management of the company following the latter's recent announcement of a voluntary disengagement package for employees who wish to part ways with it.
This brings the total number of GT/Vodafone staff to 4088 from 4200 since Vodafone acquired 70 percent stake in Ghana Telecom last August.
Even though the actual size of the severance package has not been made public, the company has indicated that employees who have resigned would be treated as per the agreed laid down procedures under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
This was however stalled because Ghana Telecom then could not provide special packages to facilitate the process.
The initial announcement was made at an in-house durbar at which it was explained in complete terms to all who were present that it was indeed a voluntary exercise, thus leaving the choice to individual staff members.
Vodafone as part of efforts to not just 'hit the ground running', but 'running at HIGH speed', has embarked on a comprehensive organizational transformation exercise specifically aimed at positioning Ghana Telecom as the telecom company of choice in Ghana within the shortest possible time.
The exercise also seeks to improve customer access to its services, making the company's operations more effective and highly efficient by adopting strategies that would ensure that Vodafone Ghana achieves its targeted business objectives and deliver better service to all of its stakeholders beyond what pertains on the market today.
Briefing the media in Accra, Mr David Venn, CEO of Vodafone Ghana stressed that the ongoing changes in the company includes deepening and expanding the company's technology base, making the network platform more adaptable to service oriented techniques that will fall in line with modern customer tastes and orientation.
The company has also embarked on a comprehensive training exercise in strategic areas of the business, with staff receiving significant in-house and external training to meet the demands of
the new business direction of the company.
“It is in this vein that the current voluntary disengagement exercise must be seen. Staff for innumerable reason, could decide to remain in the company and adapt to the emerging technological trends that has set the company apart across many countries in the world.” Similarly, the number that decides to remain will be “very welcome” in the words of Mr Venn.
“Management has worked out a deal, which a number of potential applicants called 'mouth-watering.”
The package for employees who are 45 years old is three (3) months salary for each year worked or part thereof, calculated from November 1, 1974.
Calculation of the package is based on the staff members' basic salary.
Staff members who are 45 years and above, will get a retirement benefit plus a special incentive. Staff members that are below 45 get a package also equivalent to three months of their basic salary multiplied by the number of years they have worked for GT.
“It must be noted that the package is a special one-off package which will not apply to future voluntary retirements,” Mr Venn said, adding that all applications received shall be analyzed and appropriate feedback provided within reasonable time.
Employees whose applications are accepted shall have their entitlements computed and payment made into their balance accounts before the end of March, 2009. Additionally, clear exit procedures will be communicated for the benefit of employees.
“It is not an idea intended to throw out staff who have labored for 25 to 30 years and more in anyway. Indeed, staffs who take advantage of the package will be getting close to forty percent more of what they otherwise would have received if they had stayed and approached the real age of retirement.
“Some of the applicants would have the opportunity to receive about GH¢100,000.00; that is a billion old Ghana Cedis) or more. This is a figure that many Ghanaian workers, in this country, of very reputable companies never had the opportunity of getting no matter how hard they worked.
“Those who take advantage of the package can become suppliers or business partners of Vodafone and make a better economic impact for or of their lives in the near future,” Mr Venn indicated.
By Samuel Boadi