By: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
The staff of the nation’s broadcaster, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) have given the government a one-week ultimatum for all allowances to be restored.
According to the group, failure to restore all allowances withdrawn illegally within the stipulated time will give them no option but to lay down their tools indefinitely.
At a press conference on Friday, June 2, 2023, Mr. Sam Nat Kevor, the Divisional Union Chairman of GBC, called on all employees to wear red armbands and attire to work for the following week as a sign of protest unless their demands are met.
The withdrawal of allowances by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has caused dissatisfaction among employees who believe their hard work is not being adequately recognized and rewarded.
Employees are questioning whether the removal of allowances is a result of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions to reduce the wage bill.
Under the new arrangements, some GBC staff will experience a 33% reduction in their current salaries.
The Union has also called for the dismissal of the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has initiated a Nationwide Payroll Monitoring Exercise with the Internal Audit Agency in accordance with the FWSC Act, 2007.
During this exercise, it was discovered that some GBC staff are receiving allowances they are not entitled to, including rent, housing, utility, vehicle maintenance, and transportation allowances. But the Fair Wages Commission has justified its decision to block the payment of allowances to some staff of GBC.
The Commission insisted that the over GH¢2 million paid as allowances to the staff of the state broadcaster must be refunded.
The CEO of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Mr. Benjamin Arthur in an earlier interview said the Commission will do what is right after the Commission had earlier written to officials of GBC notifying them of the current decision.
“The action that has been taken is the right course. These are unapproved allowances, and they were never negotiated in the Single Spine Salary Structure. It has always been consolidated and they (the allowances) never existed” he noted.