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Opinions of Sunday, 25 September 2011

Columnist: Keyeke, Kofi

Abuga Pele Why?

Honourable minister of health, Mr. Abuga Pele, I wish to lodge a complain before you to call for investigation and expose the canker going on in one of the health facilities which is making life unbearable for many people in Ghana at the moment. Last year it was a worker at Tema who wanted to butcher his female employer for failing to pay his salaries for six months. Early this year, it was about teachers who were complaining that, they have not been paid for 24 months. Just last week it was NYEP workers who have not been paid for ten months.

Honourable minister, it will surprise you to know that it is not only teachers who are suffering from non payment of salaries for 24 months or that of NYEP workers that have been suffering from non payment of salaries for ten months but some health workers in a private hospital in ACCRA are also seriously suffering and for the past two months now have not been paid their salaries. Health workers at C and J Group under which The Manage Health Care Limited, and Insurance Department as well as C.J.M. Pharmaceutical also operates, are threatening to resign in their numbers following undue delays in payment of their salaries covering past two months.

Workers at both the hospital at Adabraka Adjaben and those working at the insurance office are not sure of when their salaries for August would be paid them, meanwhile the month of September has only five days to end and if that of August has not been paid them then when will that of September be paid? Your Excellency, it will shock you to know that for the past 18 years that the health institution has been in existence, wages and salaries of workers have never been paid on monthly bases as every now and then payment of salaries run into arrears sometimes three months as workers discharge their duties without pay.

Social Security and National Insurance Trust [SSNIT] workers contributions towards a pension plan are also not being paid regularly as suppose to be in order for them to enjoy good pension when they retire. A further probe has revealed that tax obligations are also not being paid to the government as expected by this company.

It is very worrying to see these hard working men and women struggling to find money to pay for their transportation everyday to go and save dying patients at the hospital, pharmacy and the insurance department only to suffer delays in payment of their salaries. But in all these, workers follow strict working conditions set out by the proprietress Dr. Mrs. Joyce Djarbatey. Recently a dispatch officer was abused in a form of receiving a slap by his landlord at Sukura for undue payment of rent for two months as his salaries were not forthcoming.

Other staff who found the undue payment of salaries unbearable contracted loans in the name of their employers to cover up their salary arrears and resigned leaving the employer with no option than to find money to pay these bad debts.

Honourable minister, these workers are threatening to resign and leave their sick patients to their fate therefore pleading with your excellent office to call for investigation into this matter for action to be taken to prevent real disaster from occurring.

Yours faithfully,

Kofi Keyeke, ACCRA.

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