The government has requested an extension of time to conclude negotiations with the Civil and Local Government Staff Association Ghana (CLOGSAG), on the payment of the political neutrality allowance.
This follows a meeting attended by the Ministries of Finance, Labour and Employment Relations, CLOGSAG and the National Labour Commission (NLC) on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
After the meeting, Deputy Labour Minister, Bright Wireko Brobbey, said they are hopeful that all outstanding issues will be resolved by Friday, April 29, 2022.
“We are still talking, and we have not completed the discussions yet, so we have requested a bit of time. So we are hoping by Friday, we will be done. Engagements are happening between both parties; government and CLOGSAG, so by Friday, we will bring finality to the matter. The discussions are ongoing.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, noted they will not call off the strike until an amicable solution is reached.
“We have given ourselves till Friday to resolve all outstanding issues. The government has asked for an extension so that by Friday, we get our letter. Our pockets are bleeding, so it should be a win-win situation. We are hoping that by Friday everything will come to an end.”
However, the National Labour Commission says it has instructed CLOGSAG to suspend the strike while the Finance Minister prepares to pay the allowances.
“What is left now is that the Finance Ministry will direct the Controller and Accountant General to effect the payment. Unfortunately, the Finance Minister was out of the country, but he has been briefed. He will brief the cabinet for the President to issue the letter to Controller. This they have promised that it will be done by Friday and contingent on that, CLOGSAG will call off the strike”, says Ofosu Asamoah, Executive Secretary of the NLC.
The demand for the Neutrality Allowance has generated public debate with divided opinions on the relevance of such an allowance.
While some contend that the government giving in to this demand will open the floodgate for other allowance claims from the state, some believe that such an allowance is important to keep civil and local government workers away from serving based on their political interests.