Feature Article of Monday, 5 March 2012

Columnist: Bannor, Richard Kwasi

What Is The Use Of The Monthly Duductions Of 2% ...

... Of Members Salaries By CLOGSAG?

In my previous article, “DOES CLOGSAG REALLY WORTH AN ASSOCIATION”, I articulated why associations are formed. I further stated CLOGSAG as an association had not lived up to the expectation of its members and enumerated reasons to that effect. CLOGSAG in recent years and weeks has proven its inability to hold the line for public workers especially those in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The activities of CLOGSAG are always at the blind side of its members.

Just last week (21/02/2012), CLOGSAG was all over the place demanding what was called “Top up” allowance. An allowance that is only known to top executives and alien not only to members but the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC). According to FWSC, this allowance does not exist in the scheme of work of the single spine salary structure. To some of us, it is not surprising because, it is a desperate move by CLOGSAG to prove “Hercules” to its numerous disappointed and dissatisfied members after the migration onto Single Spine Salary Structure. Fortunately for some of us, we know this will not only be a failure but also genuine ways of spending our 2% salary deductions by CLOGSAG every month. According to FWSC, the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) aims to attract, retain and motivate public service workers to enhance effectiveness in service delivery and improved productivity. However to majority of CLOGSAG members, especially technical and professional Ministry of Food and Agriculture workers, the SSPP is to demotivate agriculture workers except those in COCOBOD.

The analysis of the payment of Single Spine Pay to Agriculture workers (technical and professional) compared to other professionals in other sectors will be looked at later.

Dear readers, before the publication of this article, I asked a number of agriculture workers in the Central Region which included District Directors, District Agriculture Officers, Agricultural Extension workers and other technical staff who had worked for over 15years to name one achievement by CLOGSAG for them as workers. Unfortunately they could not mention any. Surprisingly however, they always see 1-2% of salary deductions as Civil Service Association dues every month on their pay slips. The paradox of the matter is the 2% salary deductions for only unsatisfactory salary negotiations. To the majority of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture CLOGSAG members, CLOGSAG exists only in bogus and capricious salary negotiation tables and pay slips. According to the Ministry history, there was a time when workers in the technical class were not promoted for almost about ten years (10years), it was Ghana National Technical Class Association (GNATCA) that fought for members to be salvaged from wage slavery. Surprisingly at that time, Civil Servants Association dues were always deducted from these workers’ salary. Does this prove an effective and empathetic association that cares? CLOGSAG has proven successful only in the 2% salary deductions and not the welfare of its members. I therefore call on the workers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Regional Directors, District directors, District Agricultural Officers, Agric Extension Officers, other Technical class and administrative class) to ask ourselves these questions;

1. How long will we keep quiet whiles we are part of an association that does not understand the nature of our work? 2. For how long will we let CLOGSAG tell the whole of Ghana our profession is the least recognized though agriculture is said to be the backbone of the economy? 3. For how long, are we going to contribute 2% of our salaries every month to an association that does not care about your conditions of service but your money? 4. For how long, are we going to let CLOGSAG plunge us into wage slavery? I hope it is a known fact that among the three pillar ministries in Ghana, thus Ministry of Health, Education and Agriculture, it is only the Ministry of Food and Agriculture workers who do not have an association made up of the ministry’s workers only which have bargaining power. Think about the POTAG, UTAG, GNAT, GRNA, GMA and what have you. We leave this Honorius work of the whole Ministry into the hands of unreliable association like CLOGSAG that cares for nothing but 2% of our salaries. Colleagues, Superiors, and junior officers alike, I call for revolution by us (disappointed agriculture CLOGSAG members not with guns and weapons but a revolution that will bring a new Ministry of Food and Agriculture association that is proactive, assertive, communicative and empathetic towards the working conditions of workers.

A new day is about to dawn and I call on all Ministry of Food and Agriculture workers to be part of that history. Colleagues when that history is written I tell you, we will murmur no more in our work, neither will we think of moving out of the Ministry but we will work with much energy and fortitude to ensure the realization of the GPRS II, FASDEP II and Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda (GSGDA) Fellow Colleagues, the farmers and well wishers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture are waiting for us.

Richard Kwasi Bannor (bannor46@yahoo.com) Tel: 0243524843