National Service personnel write to government over increment, delayed allowances

The leadership of the Coalition of Concerned National Service Personnel (CCNSP) has written a letter to relevant stakeholders, requesting a meeting to discuss issues bothering on increment in their allowances, the delay in the payment, among other matters.

NSS office

The letter was addressed to the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), the Sector Minister responsible for Education, and the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.

In a statement issued on Friday, May 20, CCNSP expressed hope that their meeting with the authorities would be fruitful and make its members comfortable.

The statement reads: "We referred to the upward adjustment of national service personnel allowance letter-number FWSC/D/SCR.3/vol.17/26 from the fair wages and salary commission (FWSC) dated November 14, 2016, which resulted in the approval of GH₵ 559.04 in a letter by the Ministry of Finance on the 14th of December 2016.

"The approved rate translates to 40% of the graduate entry level on the 2017 single spine salary structure.

"It is our understanding per the letter referenced FWSC/D/SCR.3/vol.17/26 that the 40% graduate entry-level rate will be applied, yet it is 2022, six years after, the allowances remain at GH₵559.04 with no review for increment.

"We hope to arrive at viable solutions when we finally meet."

Last week, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto, criticized the government for owing personnel of the NSS two months in arrears, saying "they signed up for National Service, not National Suffering."

According to the lawmaker, it is insensitive for the Akufo-Addo-led government to abandon the young graduates who are rendering their mandatory service to the nation, in these economic hard times.

He bemoaned how difficult it must be for the service personnel as they have not been paid their "current measly allowances" for the months of March and April.

"It is most unfair and insensitive for government to owe March and April allowances of National Service Personnel in these crunch economic times," Ablakwa lamented in a post on his Facebook page, asking: "How does government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home to survive under the current cost of living crisis?"

Mr. Ablakwa advocated for an increase in the allowances of the personnel to match the prevailing economic conditions.

"I would have thought government would in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payments once again."

He went further to entreat the government to clear the arrears owed the service personnel before paying public sector workers for the month of May.

"I call on government to clear all arrears immediately. As I appealed the last time I had to donate my salaries to personnel in my beloved constituency, government should first pay personnel at the end of the month before paying public sector workers as has always been the tradition for decades."

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