… serves as some relief during COVID-19 outbreak
Civil servants have been smiling to the bank as their salaries have seen a 15 percent raise from the month of March. The pay rise was agreed as far back as August 2016 and effected in March 2020, thus bringing some relief to civil servants in such difficult times.
The imposition of restrictions and the recently lifted partial lockdown came with some economic pressure, as some homes – contrary to government advice – engaged in panic-buying to stock essential items, especially food.
The pay rise came into effect after the Ministry of Finance directed the Controller & Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) that from March 2020, 15 percent of the 2020 monthly basic salary is to be paid as premium to staff of the civil service and local government service workers. The directive said the payment will take effect from January 1, 2020. As result, associated arrears are to be paid in a single tranche at the end March 2020.
The letter further stated that the payment brings closure to all issues contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Ministry of Finance and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association Ghana (CLOGSAG) on August 18, 2016, in which the 15 percent premium was agreed.
Since beginning of the year, Civil and Local Government Staff were given a 10 percent increase in salaries, a move that was contrary to the MoU signed.
CLOGSAG threatened to embark on a strike in early March to express their displeasure against government’s decision not to honour the demand for a 15 percent increment in premium for its members since January. The threat was issued after the Office of the Head of the Civil Service sent a communique indicating that the increment in salaries, which took effect at the beginning of 2020, was an error.
Speaking to the B&FT in an interview, the Executive Secretary for CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo said: “In terms of premium, the Controller & Accountant General’s Department has paid. The backlog and continuous payment have also been paid. So, the issues have been sorted out”.
He added that civil servants who are part of the executive arm of government will continue to execute their duties and ensure that all the policies government needs to help in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak are properly formulated.
“Civil servants are with the executive arm of government, so all policy issues pertaining to COVID-19 are administrated by civil servants before coming out as policies,” Mr. Bampoe Addo said.
Meanwhile, CLOGSAG has initiated some conversation with government in connection with how best to get maximum efficiency from the current skeleton staff operation, and also to ensure safety from the virus infection.