CLOGSAG Strike Payment of premiums will 'throw the budget completely off track' - Mahama

Members of CLOGSAG have been on strike for the past two weeks, demanding that the government pays them their respective market premium before they return to work.

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President John Dramani Mahama has pleaded with striking workers of the Civil and Local Government Service Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSSAG), to return to work.

According to him, any attempt to yield to the demands of CLOGSAG “will throw the budget completely off track.”

“Election year over-expenditure has been the bane of our economic stability, I am happy to note that this year, even though an election year, expenditure targets are still on track and I intend to stick strictly to the budget and the Appropriations Act as approved by Parliament,” he said.

President Mahama made this known when he addressed members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi during the Union’s Annual Congress, Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the striking workers say they will only return to work when government signs a memorandum of understanding indicating when it will begin paying them the interim premium.

Members of CLOGSAG have been on strike for the past two weeks, demanding that the government pays them their respective market premium before they return to work.

The National Labour Commission described the strike as illegal because CLOGSAG did not inform the Commission before embarking on the strike.

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, asked them to return to work or forfeit their August salaries. The Association subsequently accused the Minister of acting in bad faith.

READ ALSO: Gov’t can’t pay premiums; it was not budgeted for - Haruna Iddrisu

But Iddrisu said the government will not be able to pay for the interim premium this year since it did not budget for it this year.

In a response to that, the Public Relations Officer of the Association Eddy Acquaye explained that they have been fighting for the interim premium allowance for years but the government keeps giving the same excuse for not paying.

READ ALSO: Employment Minister acting in bad faith - Striking workers  

“The issue of the interim premium has been hanging for the past 6 years and it is unfortunate that every year they give the same reason that they have not budgeted for it and all. What we saying this time around is that we want to know if ever they are indeed going to implement it for us because we deserve it.”

He argued that they deserve equal treatment as other public employees who have been receiving the interim premium allowance.

“What we want from the stakeholders more especially the Ministry of Employment is to tell us the payment will take place today so that we know the way forward. We are law-abiding citizens and we understand the plight of our employer and as much as we work hand in hand with government we have listening ears we would understand more especially when a memorandum of understanding is signed and an increment process is well spelt out as to when exactly the interim premium of CLOGSAG members will be implemented,” he added.

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