The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GFL) has urged the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) to educate the public on the importance of the neutrality allowance to its members.
The CLOGSAG on April 21, 2022, declared an indefinite strike to press home their demand for the government to pay the neutrality allowance as agreed in January this year.
Some persons and labour unions have criticised the action by the CLOGSAG and the justification for asking to be paid neutrality allowance for their inability to partake in partisan politics as civil and local government staff.
Mr Abraham Koomson, Secretary-General of the GFL, however, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tema that the CLOGSAG must sensitise the public on why its members deserved to receive the allowance and its importance to the successful running of government.
Mr Koomson said: “The CLOGSAG must let the public understand that the controversial neutrality allowance has nothing to do with the political affiliation of any civil servant. Because by the terms of employment, civil servants are debarred from showing political biases on the job.”
According to him, the tag of the allowance to neutrality was a wrong description adopted by the government to provoke public condemnation of it.
He also called on other labour unions, especially those with membership from public institutions to throw their support behind the demand of the CLOSAG as they also stood to benefit when implemented.
He said raising issues against the neutrality allowance by the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), and Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) was wrong, as that would affect negotiations between CLOGSAG and the government on the issue.
“It was not proper for workers’ organizations like TUC and PSWU to publicly complain about benefits to be enjoyed by counterparts to undermine the ongoing negotiations between CLOGSAG and government,” he stated.
The GFL Secretary-General indicated that strategically, the best approach was for the TUC, and PSWU to have waited for the implementation of the allowance for CLOGSAG members, and then other public sector workers could legitimately demand an extension of the allowance to cover their departments and sectors.
Meanwhile, Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, the Head of Civil Service, has affirmed that CLOGSAG members and other public servants have contributed immensely to the development of the country and must, therefore, be given what they deserved.
He indicated that the neutrality allowance has been a matter of discussion since 2019, adding that out of 48 proposed allowances tabled by CLOGSAG, only eight were accepted by the government and consolidated into what has come to be known as the neutrality allowance.