Ghana: Workers of MMDAs Urged to Brace Themselves Up for 2014

The leadership of the Local Government Workers' Union (LGWU) of Trades Union Congress of Ghana (TUC) says it will ensure that its members at the Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies (MMDAs) tasked with mobilizing revenue, take the necessary measures in 2014 to achieve the projected revenue target towards the execution of development projects and programmes in the various assemblies.

To this end, the union called on the workers of the MMDAs to brace themselves up for the task ahead, especially in the areas of enhancing revenue mobilization and improving sanitation at the grassroot level.

The leadership and the National Executive Committee of the union therefore resolved that in 2014 and beyond they will ensure that members work harder to help the political and administrative heads of the various assemblies and departments under the Local Government Service (LGS) to provide effective and efficient programmes and projects to communities at the grassroot.

In his Christmas and New Year message to members of the union, the Deputy General Secretary, LGWU, Godfred Nyarko Okyere added that; "these two areas are critical for the assemblies to continue to make qualitative impact on the lives of the citizens at the grass root".

He noted that since the workers of MMDAs are at the grassroot level, any lapses on their part in discharging their duties could have dire consequences for development at the local level.

LGWU wishes to commend the patience and dedication to duty of Ghanaian workers, especially employees of the MMDAs for playing their respective roles in the national development agenda in 2013, Mr. Okyere stated.

Touching on sanitation at the assemblies, he expressed disappointment at the mountain of refuse heaps in most of our communities, saying: "Our union members with the responsibility for sanitation are willing and ready to tackle the deteriorating sanitation head-on provided the requisite equipment could be made available to them on time".

The LGWU in its attempt to contribute its quota to national development will not sit down unconcerned about certain actions by some workers association that has the tendency to create acrimony on the labour front, Mr. Okyere warned.

He recalled that in 2013, the union had the cause to bring to the attention of the relevant agencies certain action of Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) which created the impression that it was the labour group mandated to organize employees of MMDAs and some departments.

The situation got to a stage where members of the LGWU were being forced to join strikes by CLOGSAG in the latter's agitation to be paid the market premium. The LGWU commended the workers of the MMDAs for remaining resolute and focused in the wake of labour agitations in 2013, by some workers associations including CLOGSAG which have tried to lure the union members to go on strikes to demand market premium.

The leadership of the LGWU wished to reiterate that it will patiently work with the relevant institutions to conduct the labour survey as announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the 2014 budget to determine the right category of Ghanaian workers entitled to the market premium.

The LGWU he added also take the opportunity to appeal to the National Labour Commission, the Chief Labour Officer, to call to order, workers associations which have changed their names as a ploy to lure members of the LGWU to desist from that practice.

This is because these practices, if not checked, has the potential to create confrontation among labour organizations, Mr. Okyere cautioned.

The LGWU will like to appeal to the government through the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the Local Government Service Governing Council, the Civil Service Council, to prevail on CLOGSAG to stay within its jurisdiction and organize workers who fall under the civil servant categorization.

The LGWU takes strong exception to the attempt by CLOGSAG to organize workers at the MMDAs as the association is fully aware that such category of workers come under the Local Government Service and therefore belong to the union.

The LGWU says as a law abiding labour organization, it does not see itself going to organize employees of Ministries who are civil servants because it appreciates the fact that, that category of workers come under CLOGSAG.

The action by CLOGSAG has largely contributed to LGWU members having to suffer double deduction by the Controller and Accountant General's Department, which the leadership of the union has been working frantically to resolve.

The union assures members that it has had fruitful deliberation with officials of the Controller and Accountant General's Department to tackle that problem once and for all hopefully in 2014.

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