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General News of Tuesday, 25 April 2017


NAGRAT threatens demo over SSNIT biometric registration

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The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), is threatening to demonstrate if government goes ahead to withhold the salaries of workers without SSNIT biometric registration.

According to NAGRAT, the directive is too sudden and will be unfair to the affected teachers.

The Ministry of Finance has instructed the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, not to pay salaries to 26,589 employees who have not been captured in the ongoing SNIT biometric registration.

The Ministry also announced the suspension of payment of SSNIT contribution to some 23,029 employees, because they could not be accounted for in a nationwide head count which ended on the 22nd of October 2016.

The directive if implemented, will affect about 50,000 workers. But speaking to Citi News, Vice President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, said government must heed their calls to avoid labour unrest in the country.

“We have written to the Ministry of Finance that we will not accept a situation where at the end of this month some workers will not be paid.

So long as those workers have worked and were at post working, we will not accept the situation where they will not be paid. If anything at all, let them give us a period, we asked for a one month moratorium, publish the names, let us identify our members and if they have to register biometric, they register biometrically.”

“We have tried to maintain the peaceful labour atmosphere for this month. We would advise ourselves of several labour actions that we would have to take because we feel that it is a legitimate right to pay someone who has worked. The only relationship we have with the controller and accountant general is that, controller pays those who have exercised their duties dutifully and controller should stop allowing other agencies to influence its fundamental responsibility of paying workers,” he added.

NAGRAT had earlier written to the Finance Ministry to suspend it directive saying such a move could result in total chaos in the country.

“Much as we agree that you may have good reasons for that decision, we wish to draw your attention that such an action, if carried out, has the potential of disturbing the peaceful environment we have enjoyed over the past few months,”

NAGRAT stated in a letter addressed to the Minister of Finance.

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