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CLOGSAG calls off 'political neutrality allowance' strike

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
CLOGSAG calls off 'political neutrality allowance' strike
Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo addressing the press conference

Members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG), have called off the three-week old strike over the "political neutrality allowance".

This is following a directive from the Ministry of Finance to the Controller and Accountant General to pay the neutrality allowance.

The Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, announced the new decision at a press conference in Accra Thursday [May 12, 2022.]

He said CLOGSAG decided to call off the strike after the Ministry of Finance directed the Controller and Accountant General to effect the payment of the neutrality allowance.

“The rationale to step down the industrial action was based on the fact that the demand for the Ministry of Finance to direct the Controller and Accountant General to effect payment of the agreed allowance has been met on 11 May, 2022,” he said.

Consequently, he directed all members of CLOGSAG to return to work by Monday, May 16, 2022. 

CLOGSAG and the government agreed in January 2022 that civil servants deserved to be paid neutrality allowance for not engaging in partisan political activities.

The government committed to the agreement at the negotiation table but CLOGSAG insisted that the government was refusing to pay and hence embarked on the strike.

Calling off the strike Mr Bampoe Addo said  this was only "half time" of the strike and that they were calling it off to see what will happen at the end of May 2022.

Read also: ‘Go and sleep’ if you disagree with neutrality allowance for civil servants - Bampoe Addo

CLOGSAG members laid down their tools on Thursday April 21, 2022, following the inability of the government to pay the allowance as agreed upon in January 2022.

The neutrality allowance is to ensure that civil servants discharge their duties professionally without getting involved in partisan activities.

However, there has been some public debate on the relevance of the neutrality allowance being offered to civil servants with some describing it as unnecessary.

But the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo has asked persons who do not understand the essence of the allowance to "go and sleep" as it was justified at the negotiation table.

Already, Mr Bampoe Addo has explained they went to negotiations, the government team led by the "master strategist of the government, Yaw Osafo Maafo with his special assistants,” attended and agreed.

"Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) were there, they brought two lawyers plus their technical team. So if you people [critics] are saying that we have outwitted and played a fast one on them, it is negotiation, then we should be congratulated for doing a good job. Because that is what negotiations is all about. And mind you, this neutrality allowance is only a minute part of our conditions of service. There are more to it that we've already finished, about 80%,” Mr Bampoe Addo said.

He added: “We don't do double work and we've gone to justify it at the [negotiation] table, we justified whatever allowances that we've been given at the negotiation table. So if you don't understand, go and sleep..." 

Mr Bampoe Addo disclosed that the National Labour Commission has instructed the Ministry of Finance to pay the said allowance of which a payment plan will soon be rolled out.