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23.11.2005 General News

EPA workers demand better conditions of service

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Accra, Nov. 23, GNA - Workers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday demonstrated against their poor conditions of service.

At about 0930 hours when GNA got to the EPA Headquarters in Accra, the workers had locked the main entrance to their offices and tied red bands around the gate and the pillars.

Some of the workers were ringing bells and shouting "No work, No work".

They carried placards some of which read: "Ghanaians Wake Up, Make The Environment Key Agenda For Election 2008"; "EPA Is Suffering From Brain Drain" and "No More Lip Service". Mr Prince Hodo, Secretary to the Senior Staff Association, told the He said the workers had earlier petitioned the Management, the Board and the Government about the conditions of service but to no avail.

"Last week we petitioned the Minister and gave him one week to get back to us but till this morning we have not heard from her. It was just around 0800 hours that we were told the Minister will meet us later in the morning," he said.

Mr Hodo, who is also the Spokesperson for the Local Public Service Workers Union, said the workers expected the Government to redefine the status of EPA.

He explained that before 1993 EPA belonged to the analogous organizations like the Standard Boards, Atomic Energy, GIMPA and CSIR but they were detached from such institutions and given a broader mandate to regulate and enforce environmental laws. He said the EPA did not have an identity, adding: "We get salary increment when government announces increment and even that we do not get the chance to negotiate."

Mr Hodo called on the Government to, as a matter of urgency, respond to the demands of the workers of EPA.

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