Koforidua, Feb 17, GNA - About 300 staff of the New Juaben Municipal Assembly Wednesday held a peaceful demonstration at Koforidua to demand the refund of 10,000 cedis deducted from their salaries by the Civil Servants Association of Ghana (CSAG) for the setting up of a mutual health insurance scheme.
The protesters also demanded that the monthly deductions should cease immediately since the government had introduced the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) that has its own source of funding. The leader of the group, Mr Ransford Sarpong, told the GNA that 10,000 cedis was deducted from their monthly salaries from June 2003 up-to-date and this amounted to 49 million cedis.
Explaining the rationale behind the deduction, Mr Sarpong said they were informed that a mutual health insurance was to be set up for all civil servants in the municipality.
He said when the NHIS took off, they met the Eastern Regional Civil Servants Association (CSA) secretariat and resolved that the CSA mutual scheme be suspended and therefore the deductions should be halted. Mr Sarpong said when the staff began to agitate for the refund of their moneys, the regional secretariat of the CSA asked them to write a resolution to the secretariat but despite a series of meetings nothing fruitful had been achieved.
He said the staff had to resort to the demonstration because of a letter from the Eastern Regional Secretary of the CSA, Mr Thomas Dwirah, asking them to present another resolution signed by all the 300 staff before the money could be refunded.
Mr Sarpong stated, "We think the proposal to establish a mutual scheme was ideal but since a national one is in place, it may look as if we want to sabotage the government's scheme. We would use all positive avenues to achieve our demands."