The Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association of Ghana (FUSSAG), has threatened industrial action on Monday, August 12, if the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) fail to pay its legitimate demands.
The association is demanding that the FWSC immediately adjust the 2013 base pay, pending an expeditious negotiation, commensurate to the compensation for exposure of some university staff to excessive health and occupational hazards.
They are asking that the interim market premium to senior staff of public universities should be extended to them to ensure equity and fairness.
FUSSAG is also calling for the restoration of special allowances to members.
A statement by FUSSAG and copied to Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast, after its joint meeting in Winneba on Wednesday, said FWSC should heed to its request to open negotiations to pay “exposure to health hazard allowances” to its deserving members.
Mr Emmanuel Aidoo, Joseph William Fynn, Anthony Abbam and Jonathan Ahovi, branch Secretaries for the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Education Winneba and the University of Mines and Technology signed the statement.
It explained that prior to the migration of staff of public universities onto the Single Spine Salary Structure, mortuary staff, laboratory technicians, laboratory technologists and other supporting staff of public universities were enjoying risk allowance of 30 per cent due to exposure to adverse environmental working conditions as well as occupational hazards.
It said staff who work in laboratories of public universities are exposed to radiation and other hazardous conditions in the course of their day to day activities as the chemicals they handle such as phenol, chromic acid and cyanide compounds are used in their raw forms and therefore very injurious to their health.
“We also wish to register our disquiet about the unprecedented delay in the adjustment of the base pay to compensate workers for erosion on their income as a result of changes in the economic conditions over the past seven months.”
The statement explained that senior staff of public universities have the same skills, competencies and qualifications to equally merit a market premium, which is paid to other university academic staff.
It said the new pay policy, which should have corrected distortions in the salary structure of workers had rather left senior staff of public universities worse off.
The statement said if the issue is not addressed it would be impossible to maintain industrial harmony because the discrimination by the FWSC against senior staff of public universities is at variance with the philosophy of the Single Spine Pay Policy.
“Subsequently, we wish to serve notice to all stakeholders of tertiary education in Ghana of our resolve to advise ourselves until justice and fairness is seen to be extended to all public university staff,” it warned.