24.06.2004 Regional News

Workers demonstrate for Cap 30 pension scheme

24.06.2004 LISTEN

Saltpond, June 24, GNA- Over 2,000 teachers and Civil Servants in Mfantseman District on Wednesday embarked on a three-hour demonstration through the principal streets of Saltpond to back their demand for the restoration of the Government Pension Scheme, called Cap 30. Wearing red bands, the demonstrators carried placards some of which read, "SSNIT Pension is worse than HIV/AIDS", "Cap 30-No discrimination", "Living wages denied and Cap 30 is sustainable".

The workers later presented a petition to the District Chief Executive, Mr. Robert Quainoo-Arthur for onwards transmission to President J.A. Kufuor. The petition said the SSNIT Pension Scheme was an infringement on the rights of workers, and at variance with the fundamental principles of equity, justice and fairness. It cited a case of a female teacher in the district who taught for over 30 years but received 3.500 million cedis as SSNIT gratuity. Mr. Quainoo-Arthur commended the demonstrators for the peaceful manner it was conducted and assured them that he would send the petition to the President with dispatch. The DCE said the government was determined to meet demands of workers but the country's fragile economy was frustrating its efforts and appealed to workers to exercise restraint.

Mr. Joe Denteh, the District GNAT Secretary said teachers pension ordinance of 1955 placed teachers under the Government Pension Scheme (CAP 30) established in 1946. He said teachers and a section of civil servants were withdrawn from the Cap 30 in 1972 and placed under the SSNIT scheme. Mr. Denteh said computation and benefits of Cap 30 were more attractive than the SSNIT pension scheme. 24 June 04

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