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18.09.2003 Regional News

Sekondi-Takoradi workers oppose deduction from their contributions

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Takoradi, Sept. 18 GNA- The Sekondi-Takoradi District Council of Labour (DCL) on Thursday opposed the two and half per cent deductions from workers contributions to fund the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

They said the government does not have the legal right to use the SSNIT contributions of workers for another scheme whereas the concerned workers have not been consulted.

This was the outcome of an emergency meeting organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on the "unilateral seed money" being proposed by the government.

Mr. Isaac Arthur-Bello, Regional Secretary of the Council of Labour suggested that the Bill be sent back to parliament for further discussions.

"If this is not done, Ghanaian workers nationwide, would have no alternative than to embark on a protest march against the use of our contributions to fund the NHIS", he said.

Mr. Arthur-Bello urged the government to spell out clearly all the relevant benefits, ailments that the scheme would cater for and other sources of funding apart from the two and half per cent workers contribution.

Members expressed their appreciation at the NHIS but advised the government, not to use their contributions as "seed money". They called on the management of the SSNIT to make copies of the laws on the funds available to all contributors, to enable them to contribute meaningfully towards its growth.

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