General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
National Service personnel in the country have expressed disappointment with government that their January allowance did not reflect the increase announced by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
The NDC, before leaving government, in December 2016 increased allowances of service personnel by 60 per cent. Personnel were to receive a monthly allowance of GHS559 from the GHS350 they currently receive.
However, the leadership of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) said they were “shocked” when they visited their banks and their accounts were credited with the usual GHS350 “at a time where the 12 per cent increment for public sector workers has taken effect amidst the rising prices of crude on the world market, the rise in inflation, cost of utility and the cost of living, which have affected every sphere of our lives as personnel and Ghanaians in general”.
However, NASPA in a statement urged its members to remain calm as it employs legitimate means, including negotiations, civil disobedience, and resorting to the law, if need be, to press home their needs.
Below is the statement:
NATIONAL SERVICE PERSONNEL ASSOCIATION (NASPA)-G/A URGES ALL MEMBERS TO REMAIN CALM AS WE ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS ON ALLOWANCE.
You will recall that on the 19th of December 2016, the Ministry of Finance issued a statement giving approval to a request to increase the allowance of personnel from an amount of three hundred and fifty Ghana cedis (GHS350) to five hundred and fifty-nine Ghana cedis, four pesewas (GHS559.04) for National Service personnel which stems from a series of negotiations between the scheme and the leadership of National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) somewhere April last year.
Leadership of NASPA and its constituents received with joy the news about the increment as the 60 per cent upward adjustment in allowance for service personnel determined by the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC) represented only 40 per cent of fresh graduate salary on a Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS). We subsequently applauded the scheme and government for heeding to our plea and also expressed confidence in the new administration to uphold the earlier approval by the Ministry of Finance contrary to assertions by sections of the population that it would not be heeded to by the current government.
It is instructive to note that personnel were met with shock when we visited our banks with the hope and enthusiasm to walk smiling with GHS559.04 which turned out to be a fiasco as our accounts were credited with the usual GHS350 only at a time where the 12 per cent increment for public sector workers had taken effect amidst the rising prices of crude at the world market, the rise in inflation, cost of utility, and the cost of living which has affected every sphere of our lives as personnel and Ghanaians in general.
We had continuously reiterated that governance is a continuous process and as such we were of a firm conviction that the government of the day would see to the implementation of what was began by its predecessor, taking into consideration the fact that allowance of personnel were last increased in the 2013/2014 service year cumulating barely four years without any increment in what personnel receive as allowance. Let’s remember that it is Ghana we are serving and not the parochial interest of some section of the people.
We would use this opportunity to assure our constituents (National Service personnel) that leadership remains committed and resolute in ensuring that we are given what is due us through legitimate means, which includes negotiations, civil disobedience, and resorting to the law if need be to press home our needs.
Even though we are surprised at the turn of events and why the increment did not take effect with the January allowance, we would urge all to remain calm and patient as we ensure that our plight are alleviated but in all of these , let’s remember that to be able to make the needed impact, our collective effort matters.