15 January 2013

Ghana: Ministry Workers Report Management to Prez Mahama

Scores of workers at the 'Ministries' section of Accra, on Monday, called on President John Dramani Mahama to either appoint an independent team or use a private agency to elicit the concerns of workers, saying that their true concerns were usually not articulated by top management and sectional leaders.

The workers also urged the President to set up a public sector monitoring and evaluation team to periodically assess the performance of workers in accordance with the single spine salary structure.

These came to light when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) sampled the views of public sector workers from the Ministries of Communications, Tourism, Lands and Natural Resources, Water Resources, Works and Housing, Environment, Science and Technology and Local Government and Rural Development in Accra to find out their expectations of President Mahama's Administration.

"If the government wants to achieve tremendous improvement and accelerated development, public and civil servants must be put under periodic scrutiny to ensure that we justify our pay.

"Poor monitoring mechanism within the public sectors accounts for about 40 per cent workers drawing salary without doing any specific job. Public service workers must undergo thorough value-for-money evaluation," Mr. Ben Obeng-Wiafe, a worker at the Ministry of Communications said.

Mr. Obeng-Wiafe appealed to President Mahama to set up a monitoring team to get down to the low management levels particularly, to collect realistic and relevant information about workers' concerns for redress.

He also expressed dissatisfaction at the poor conditions of service and salaries, saying "this is not motivating enough for hard working staff to increase productivity.

"Our allowances are not only small, but also suffering undue delay and when it eventually comes it is being knifed without any explanation".

Ms Afua Nyarko said she had been working at the Department of Parks and Gardens for 38 years, but her monthly pay was nowhere close to GH¢700.00, in spite of the Single Spine adjustment, and that she was unable to cater for her children at the various levels of education.

She said with schools resuming from vacation, she was wondering how she was going to mobilize funds to pay school fees and attend to other needs of her children.

Mr. Joseph Pony and Ms Faustina Frema, also workers at the Ministry of Communications, said they expected government to continue the supply of free school uniform and exercise books started by late Professor John Evans Atta Mills and tackle the perennial water crises and the power outages.

According to Ms Frema, public sector workers were performing their jobs under very harsh conditions and exposed to all sort of danger, but were being given a rather low reward.

Mr. Pony called for an increment in SSSS to enable workers to pay school fees, utility bills and honour other equally important commitments.

He called on President Mahama to focus on expanding school infrastructure, construct and rehabilitate bad roads and solve problems in the energy sector like shortage of liquefied petroleum gas to enhance social and economic activities.

Mr. Emmanuel Ofori said he was expecting government to immediately resume the implementation of programmes and projects halted in the run up to the elections.

"I am hoping the project to migrate from Analogue TV to Digital TV will start, so we can work to meet the June 2015 international deadline, and December 2014 Ghana deadline", he noted.

Mr. Mustapha Owoo, a worker at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology said the introduction of SSSS pay policy had not seen any better improvement in workers' salaries to bring about healthy living.

"I expect President Mahama's regime to do something substantial about it. This will make workers enthusiastic to do their jobs and eliminate the petty stealing at work places", he opined.

Ms. Juliet Nakoba and Mr. Gabriel Ankra told the GNA that for three months now they had not received their salaries and prayed this time around things would change for the better.

"President Mahama is very competent, he looks caring and I am just praying and hoping that he will turn things round by paying workers on time and also increase their salaries, because my brother, the pay no good," Mr. Ankra said. GNA

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