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General News of Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Source: Daniel Kaku

Youth Employment Agency staff go wild over 'mass transfer'

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Some staff of Youth Employment Agency (YEA) who were asked to proceed on leave this year under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government have described the Agency as a propaganda agency.

In a press statement signed by, Mr. Kofi Mathew and Mr. BB Bediako on August 19, 2017 and cited by the media stated that the proceed on leave the Agency directed them was away to replace them by their party faithfuls.

They alleged that the Agency failed to honour the court directives that the staff who were affected by the mass transfer should returned to their various offices.

"Some staff were given 'proceed on leave' letters. But before we could return, party executives had been engaged to occupy our positions", they lamented.

They also added that the recent recent recruitment the Agency has done is illegal indicated the Agency has no Governing Board in place.

Over 430 staff were affected by the recent mass transfer.

Below is the statement;

*Acting CEO of YEA Transfers Close to 500 of the little over 700 Staff of The Agency - A Propagandist Twist In The Ongoing Court Case*

Some staff were given "proceed on leave" letters. But before we could return, party executives had been engaged to occupy our positions.

This was under the guise of restructuring of YEA at a time YEA has no Governing Board. Big mistake! Big lie! By the laws and rules, restructuring cannot be done without recourse to YEA Governing Board and the Public Services Commission.

*New recruits* Big mistake! Big lie! The Ag. CEO cannot recruit without recourse to Governing Board and Public Services Commission according to the laws and rules and as has previously been done in recruitment exercises that employed we the affected staff.

*Mass Transfers* Big mistake! Big lie! The 430-plus 'transferred' were asked to relocate to their new stations (eg. move from Accra to Wa within 7 days or risk losing our jobs). The laws and rules require that we should be given at least "3 months notice". Even where the transfer is temporary, we are to be given "reasonable time" to move. We are also to be given transportation and accommodation allowances. We were never notified of any such arrangements yet were threatened with withholding of salaries should we *fail to comply with the directive to report at our new stations within 7 days*. Interestingly, YEA has filed fictitious documents as evidence of their preparedness to pay allowances but this was after we sued.

*Reducing our positions*. Big mistake! The scheme of service says when one is transferred, he or she should be made to work within the same "class". We are being asked to report to new bosses who are below our grade within the public service and many of us have been assigned to nonexistent portfolios while others are reassigned to classes that fall completely outside their class. For instance, a driver has been reassigned to "monitoring and evaluation" despite that he is completely unable to do so except that he is a very good driver who was promoted from the same class last year.

Our lawyer told the court that apart from the fact that these actions are not in accordance with due process and law, the main aim is to "induce constructive dismissals" as many of us were about to quit because of the frustrating nature of the situation. He argued that the actions are not only "a most unfair labour practice" but against the several articles of the constitution of Ghana including that a public servant cannot be punished or dismissed "without just cause."

Since the suit was instituted late June, YEA has not been able to file a defence. It is obvious they can't find any worthy defence for their lawyers. Instead of focusing on the repeated injunction motion that was argued this week on Tuesday 15th (judgment will be on 24th August) you are out here asking for the judge to be changed. Which judge? The one who gave the first injunction or this one for the repeated injunction motion? Shame! You and your lawyers were jubilating when this judge ruled against our lawyer TWO TIMES on preliminary legal objection on your motion and writ amendment ordered by the main judge. Our lawyers argued that this judge should affirm the injunction given by the main judge. He quoted many laws and supreme court cases. Your lawyers didn't mention even a single law or case to support their arguments against confirmation of the injunction.

It is obvious you know that you have a bad case and you can't help your lawyers to do a good argument. Now you are afraid you have lost in advance so the best thing to do is to intimidate the judge and lie to the world that he declared support for John Mahama in the 2016 elections. Which chief in Ghana didn't support government or doesn't support government? Is a chief or any citizen biased if he or she support government for the projects government has done especially for their area? Was this judge (the chief) biased when he ruled twice against us? In any case, this court case is not between political parties, nor is it between the previous government and the government of today. We are public servants who feel aggrieved, hence our quest to seek justice. How does the case get affected by whoever the judge is or whatever political ideology he stands for (if any)? The basic reason why any judge cannot continue to sit on a case is when he/she has an interest in the case, immediate or remote. That is *nemo iudex in causa sua*. So in this instance the question that must engage any serious mind is; is the judge a YEA staff or does he have a relative among the plaintiffs? What makes one think that *all* the plaintiffs in the matter belong to one political party? Please we should not make this case a political one, because it is not.

Focus on finding some credible defence to your mess created through the discrimination 'transfers' and recruitments. Help your lawyers and stop attacking a judge.

The other day, it was our lawyer you took to the General Legal Council for punishment on lies that some staff didn't give their consent to our suit. Why can't we all go through this case in honesty and fair play? If you think what you have done is right in the face of the laws and rules of engagement, why not go ahead and file your defence for the main case? Why all these distractions and diversionary tactics? Why the attacks on a Judge who has ruled twice in your favor?

Let's cherish Justice and Fair Play!

We aren't out to fight anyone. We are only in court to defend our rights as citizens and Public Servants.

Long live Ghana!

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