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15.09.2005 General News

Breakdown in Civil Servants Salary Negotiations

By GNA
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Accra, Sept 15, GNA - The Civil Servants Association (CSA) on Thursday asked its members to stand by, for further briefing of what it described as a breakdown of salary negotiations with the government, their employer.

A statement Mr S.Y.A. Chigabatia. Executive Secretary of the Association signed in Accra said, " We bring to the full notice of our members the ultimatum the Joint Consultative Forum was forced to issue to Government following the unwarranted delay that has characterized the 2005 Salary Negotiations.

It said, "On the 23rd of August 2005, the Forum had no option than to declare a deadlock and serve notice to the National Labour Commission of the impasse as earlier on communicated to our members as per letter Number BA/35 dated 30th August 2005 and copied to all Regional Secretariats.

"The Government, having apparently abandoned the negotiations, the Forum per its letter dated 6th September 2005 furnished the National Labour Commission details of the transaction that had bedevilled this year's salary negotiations. Find letter attached.

"However, whilst holding ourselves in readiness to meet the Labour Commission, the Honourable Minister for Employment per the Central Management Board invited us to a meeting on 8th September 2005. As an honest partner, the Forum obliged."

The statement said, " it was at this fateful meeting that the Government made an offer, which was accepted by the Forum as final agreement. Highlights of the draft Memorandum of Understanding to have been signed to seal the agreement reached by both parties included: Status of levels 1 - 2, a 10% upward adjustment across board for Levels 3-22; effective date March 1, 2005; a special allowance of Twenty-Five Billion Cedis per month from September - December 2005. and an upward review of Re-imbursable Allowances."

It said a meeting was subsequently scheduled for Monday, September 12, 2005 for parties to append their signatures to the agreement.

"It was at this meeting that Government put forward new proposals, which radically fell short of the earlier one it has put forward and accepted by the FORUM. By these new proposals, Government, our employer had withdrawn almost all the offers it had earlier proposed, which we accepted without any further negotiation. "The effective date of March 2005 was instead moved to June 2005; the special allowance was to be reduced to two months instead of four; and the review of the Re-imbursable Allowances withdrawn altogether.

The statement said: "The Association has been concerned with the problems of Salary Administration in the Public Service and has therefore, collaborated with our employer in partnership to implement the Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS) in piecemeal to achieve some of the objectives of Government.

"It should be noted that by its offer and our reluctant acceptance, we were once again trying to abide by the new labour rules as outlined in the new Labour Law, which emphasizes give-and-take and moreover mutual respect and trust. Our resolve to follow laid down rules and collaborate with our employer has unfortunately been taken for granted. There is no longer any element of trust between us and our employer since they have backed out of their promises.

"This unilateral action of our employer has put us in an untenable situation that we find impossible to defend before our members as we have already communicated the agreed issues to them and also brought it into the public domain."

The statement said, "We are therefore calling upon our employer to honour the last offer they themselves proposed to us. "It said members were being informed --- that the original agreement should stand and it asked Regional Secretaries to summon a meeting of the District and Regional Executives so that the mass meetings of Civil Servants could begin, "to bring to the fore the raw deal being meted to us by our employer."

The statement reiterated the resolve of the civil servants for fairness, justice and equity in Public Service wages and salaries administration as a cardinal measure of Good Governance, and would move all the resources within their power to ensure that it prevailed. It said any further development would be communicated to members. 15 Sept. 05

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