‘Review Article 71 downwards for industrial harmony’

The Executive Director of the Centre for Moral Education and Development (CEMED), Opoku Agyeman Prempeh, has stressed the need for the country to take a second look at the Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution to ensure industrial harmony.

He explained that Article 71, which provides for the remunerations of politicians and other government appointees needed to be reviewed to promote industrial peace and harmony in the country.

“The country at this point of its growth and development needs a vibrant public sector workforce to support and assist the transformation agenda of the government which can be achieved when government employees work in the right frame of mind,” Mr Prempeh observed.

There have been agitations and strikes by some public sector workers demanding an increase in salaries and better conditions of service, including the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG), which have currently laid down their tools demanding improved conditions of service.

Speaking on the recent spate of strikes by some members of unions in government establishments, he pointed out that the government could not use all its resources to pay a small number of people under Article 71while the majority kept complaining of poor salaries.

He said even though other workforces were at the expense of the provision of other social amenities for the benefit of the majority of Ghanaians, there was the need for equity and fairness in public compensation while few politicians were taking huge sums of money and ex-gratia at the end of every four years.

Mr Prempeh noted that majority of Ghanaian workers who had worked for more than twenty to thirty years, were given meagre salaries and an end of service benefits which could best be described as an insult however, appealed to those who have had the opportunity to work in government employment to exercise restraint in their demands considering current state of the economy.

“The government needs to do a lot of things to improve living conditions and socio-economic lives of all the people by strictly adhering to probity, accountability and transparency to ensure government workers understood the present challenges facing the nation,” he implored. -GNA

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