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Concerns from unions must be tackled adequately – Dr. Asante-Annor

The National General Secretary for the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana, Dr. Asare Asante-Annor, says concerns raised by workers’ unions need to be tackled adequately in order to avoid further disruptions in the country.

He was speaking concerning the formation of the Salary Review Committee created to review the single spine payment structure.

According to him, the creation of the committee in an exclusionary manner, such that there is no representation of single spine salary earners on the committee, is merely a recipe for disaster.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “we need what we term the all-inclusive expert, because when you form a committee and then you just decide to pick people who are aligned in a particular way, you don’t achieve anything.”

He noted that especially now that the country is seeking an IMF bailout, it would need the total cooperation of all worker unions in order to be able to fully complete the programme and reap its benefits.

“And the thing with labour is that you don’t want the point where they are agitated and then everybody starts to go on the streets. And I’ve asked this question severally, you are going for a sitting package, but when you go for the package and the people that are supposed to be working are not working, what are you going to do?

“It is important that these concerns from all these unions including UTAG are addressed adequately. And it will start with we relying on experts because when we ignore the experts – and the experts I don’t mean from party A or only party B, but it should be all-inclusive and then we sit down and we address all these conditions,” he said.

He explained that it is thus necessary for the government to pay a listening ear to the demands of the workers’ unions in order to win their cooperation in the coming months.

“If you ask my colleague panelists, most of these labour leaders and these labour unions are very understanding. If you look at conditions that doctors work, teachers – sometimes some of the villages you cannot mention, in the university if you look at the numbers you’d be surprised, one lecturer is handling over 500 students, and we did that during Covid and we did that after Covid.

“It’s not like these people are not well meaning Ghanaians, we are. But from your graph it showed that how are these people going to afford going to work? That is a question we need to address,” he said.

Meanwhile, NAGRAT President, Angel Carbonu, has stated clearly that his association will reject whatever outcome of the government’s Salary Review Committee should it not reflect their demands and needs.

“The review will have to be done honestly, salary review should not be done with the intention of short changing workers. Already the review committee is a bad and negative starter where you try to pull out worker unions and their representatives and bring in people who are not on the single spine to go and review single spine

“Definitely we can already see and suspect that the objective of the committee is to shortchange people who are on the single spine instead of honestly bringing representatives of labour unions who are on single spine to come and sit down, negotiate a well-structured single spine paying structure in this country

“And let me assure you, any outcome of the committee – for us we see that committee as a failure ab initio – that does not reflect our needs and our demands, I can assure will be rejected,” he said.

Source: myjoyonline

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