Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, September 29, 2017
Public sector workers who were planning to go on indefinite strike over issues related to the Tier Two Pension Scheme have backed down on their intended action.
The strike was expected to commence today, but the forum has announced that it has set up a joint technical committee with the government to examine the issues once again and submit its report on the way forward within three weeks.
There is currently a tussle between the Forum for Public Sector Registered Pension Schemes (public workers) and the government over the control of the Temporary Pension Fund (TPF) under the Tier Two Pension Scheme.
The workers gave the government up to the September 29, 2017 to transfer all their funds in the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) lodged at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to their respective fund managers or risk an indefinite strike.
A statement issued yesterday by Isaac Bampoe-Addo, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG), who is the Chairman of the forum said “subsequent to the setting up of a nine-member joint Technical Committee of the government and the union/associations representing the four public sector tier 2 pension schemes to submit a report within three weeks as the final step at resolving the current problem.”
The statement said “the workers, owing to the setting up of the committee, have suspended temporarily the intended September 29, 2017 indefinite nationwide strike action communicated earlier through our press release dated 14th September, 2017, whiles the joint Technical Committee completes its work.”
At a news conference in Accra recently, Mr Bampoe Addo said that “our strike is going to be indefinite not until all out grievances are met and we will make sure this time around our action becomes very effective.”
He said the continuous delay in the transfer of the funds from the TPFA at the Central Bank to their respective custodian fund managers will always create bad blood between the two parties, saying “we wish to reiterate our frustrations and disappointments at the manner the government and its agencies have reneged on its adherence to the out of court settlement in February 2016.”
“The transfer of the accumulated 5% monthly deductions towards Tier II Pension lodged at the Bank of Ghana is pending,” adding that “under the defined contribution scheme the risk on the contributor and his final benefits depend on earnings from investments and the delay in the release of funds will not auger well for retirees.”
The forum is made up of unions and associations including the Health Service Workers’ Union, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Physicians Assistants Association, Ghana Hospital Pharmacists Association and the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anesthetists.
The rest include the Ghana National Association of Teachers, Teachers and Educational Workers Union of Ghana Trades Union Congress, the National Association of Graduate Teachers, the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana and the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana.
During the tenure of the previous Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, whose action led to the current standoff, the workers fought very hard to get the issues resolved but to no avail.