A member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) communication team, Gabriel Assuming has said that government must be proactive to deal with the settlement of the long standing arrears of the public sector workers because the situation if not curtailed can ruin their chances in the next elections.
He added that the Ministry of Finance must find money to pay all the arrears of the teachers, the doctors and other public sector workers whose outstanding monies have not been paid, reiterating that “as a governing party, there are issues we cannot defend, we have to pay them”.
Speaking on Okay FM, the NDC communicator fumed that the people involved are feeling the pain and such issues being a challenge for the government must be resolved, adding that; “arrears are arrears and it cannot be negotiated because there was a timetable to pay the arrears”.
In view of the issues which always end up at the Presidency, Gabriel Assuming said that the Presidency has been drawn into the settlement because the people do not trust the Fair Wages, Labor Commission and even the Ministries.
“We have weak institutions such as the Fair Wages, Labor Commission and even the Ministries,” he clarified.
According to him their activities have made the government faced these challenges from these essential bodies.
He recounted that the salary policy is a good idea because the public sector workers now receive better pay than the private sector, but to him the arrears have been the issue which has made the scheme bad.
He said that one embarrassing situation has to do with the Christian Health Association which has supported the government in the health service delivery but the Ministry of Finance has not paid their outstanding money for the past 7 months thereby causing the Christian hospitals to go on strike.
“If indeed the teachers are entitled to the arrears, then the government must find money and pay them,” he pleaded.
He stressed that the Finance Ministry should have paid the arrears and as a matter of urgency find money to pay; adding that this makes the NDC communicators’ work a difficult one to defend in the media when people are bashing the government in this manner.