Any attempt by Government or board of trustees of pension schemes to undermine the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on pensions will be fiercely resisted by organised labour.
According to Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress, it has become aware of a letter dated April 7, 2023 inviting the board of trustee of the pension funds to participate in a new Government of Ghana proposed alternative offer for pension funds.
“We have scrutinised this letter and other accompanying documents and have come to a firm conclusion that they amount to roping pension funds back in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme,” he added.
He said this at the Organised Labour 2023 National May Day Forum in Accra yesterday.
The programme under the auspices of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Ghana was aimed at discussing workers’ incomes and pensions.
It was on the theme “Promoting incomes and pensions in an era of Economic Crises; our responsibility.”
Dr Baah urged boards of trustees of all pension funds not to honour the invitation to participate in alternative offer for pension funds.
He called for national dialogue by stakeholders to deliberate on the pension fund.
Dr Baah stressed the need to sensitise workers on pensions to educate them on it.
The Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Bright Wereko Brobbey, in his remarks assured labour unions of government’s commitment not to touch workers’ pensions.
He said government would meet with leaders of the unions to further deliberate on issues of pensions in the country.
The Programme Coordinator of FES Ghana, Mr Ebow Mensah, said a study conducted by the Africa Centre Retirement Research in December 2020 established that retirees in Ghana aged 55 years and above recorded increased hospital visitation by 49 per cent.
He said cost of healthcare for senior citizens increased by 43.6 per cent.
Mr Mensah called on government to collaborate with stakeholders to examine the current state of Ghanaian retirees and focus on developing policies that seeks to improve their socio-economic wellbeing.
Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo of the Labour Research and Policy Institute of Ghana called for the protection of employment thus increase in access to decent jobs, reduction to employment vulnerability and stop casualisation.
He said the country must adopt policies that link incomes and prices and general cost of living.
In attendance were representatives from the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, Health Service Workers Union, Ghana Private Road Transport Union, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Civil and Local Government Staff Association Ghana and Teachers and Educational Workers Union among others.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI