Hundreds of people queued up at various public institutions in Accra on Thursday as a strike by members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) demanding neutrality allowance disrupted governmental service deliveries.
CLOGSAG members work as administrators, secretaries, finance officers and human resource officers among others within the various public sector organisations.
Some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had no staff to serve members of the public and contractors who had turned up at the various places, while others had offices closed with long queues of people waiting for several hours.
The indefinite strike, which began on April 21, 2022, has been called by the leadership of CLOGSAG at the instance of alleged government’s failure to pay their members the political neutrality allowance after three months they agreed with the government.
The strike has virtually brought all government operations at the MDAs to a standstill, taking a heavy toll on people seeking to register businesses, renew registration of businesses, as well as suppliers of the government, among others.
A visit to the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) in Accra saw many disappointed applicants who had turned up for one service or the other, with many pouring out their frustrations and venting their anger on the government.
“I came all the way from Kasoa only to be told that they are on strike. I am very disappointed. I travelled quite a distance, and they are not able to tell me when they will resume,” one applicant, who does not want to be named, said.
“There is nobody, and the machines have been put off with no service being rendered. I am so disappointed,” another person lamented, and continued, “I cannot enter the office. They are on strike. It is not good news because in business, every day counts.”
“I have started a new business and I came here to register. I came all the way from Spintex and I just realised they are on strike and I didn’t know about it,” he bemoaned.
Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, indicated in an interview that the association would not rescind its decision until its demands are met, noting, “For now, the strike will go on indefinitely until we have been given what we are demanding for.”
He said the National Labour Commission (NLC) had directed the government, through the Ministry of Finance (MoF), to issue a payment plan for the allowance to the Accountant-General’s Department by Friday, April 29.
Mr. Bampoe, however, pointed out that CLOGSAG was yet to see the payment plan, and added, “We are not going back to work until the directive by the NLC is adhered to. We are not in a jungle. We are guided by rules and we use negotiations. The Ministry of Finance should respect the directive of the NLC.”
He said despite official reminders and follow-ups by leadership of CLOGSAG, the government had continuously failed to pay the allowance as agreed, explaining, “The demand for the allowance was part of the civil and local government workers’ better conditions of service, which was 80%.”
By Nii Adjei Mensahfio