Public sector unions threaten strike

Dr.  Isaac Bampoe Addo, Labour Union Chairman

Dr. Isaac Bampoe Addo, Labour Union Chairman

The Forum of Public Sector Labour Unions in Ghana has served notice of a nationwide strike if government failed to transfer their Tier-2 pension contributions to their private fund managers in 21 days.

Made up of 10 labour unions, the forum said it will withdraw its services effective November 15, if government fails to heed to their demands.

Dr. Isaac Bampoe, the Chairman of the forum, at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said government was being lackadaisical on an out-of-court settlement agreed with the labour unions last year for their funds to be released by April 1 this year.

The two parties –government and labour – reached the agreement, which was accepted by an Accra high court as binding when the two sides accused each other of bad fate forcing them to resort to court for a resolution as to who manages the Tier-2 funds.

The government, under the agreement, was to ensure that the Controller and Accountant General made payment to the 12 groups before April 1.

But Dr. Bampoe said “as at yesterday the government has failed to abide by these obligations as stated in the out of court consent judgment accepted by the High Court that the employer shall ensure that the 5 per cent of Tier-2 monthly deductions are made by the Controller and Accountant General”.

The labour unions pushing for the release of the funds include the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG).

The rest are the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Government Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOPSA), the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists (GRCRA), the Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA), and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG).

According to Dr Bampoe, all attempts by the forum to compel government to fulfill its side of the bargain under the agreement have been unsuccessful.

“The deafening silence on the part of government concerning the transfer of the funds is clearly in contravention of the court judgment,” he stressed.

Dr. Bampoe said the delay in the transfer of the funds, following the amendment of some provisions of the National Pension Act in 2010, would affect “adversely the level of a lump sum or gratuity a retired officer is likely to receive under the second Tier”.

He threatened that the forum would not heed to calls on it to back down on their demands if it commences the industrial action Tuesday November 15.

By Julius Yao Petetsi  

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