The Greater Accra Branch of the Civil and Local Government Service Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) have begun wearing red armbands to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with what they describe as interference in their work by politicians and ministers of state.
According to the association, the display of armbands was a precursor to a full show of displeasure planned to take place from May 28 to May 31, this year.
The Greater Accra Regional Branch Secretary of CLOGSAG, Mr Sam Collison, told the Daily Graphic that the association had already laid the issue of interference before the "appropriate quarters" for redress but nothing had come out of it.
He said at a meeting that was held recently, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, was appointed to take charge of the matter and have it resolved.
"But soon after that meeting, he transferred the Chief Labour Officer (CLO) with the Labour Department, Mr Eugene Korletey, to the ministry as a technical advisor which was a point of departure with civil service regulations.
According to Mr Collison, even when the Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHSC) had written to the minister indicating that a directive to the Deputy Chief Labour Officer to act as the Chief Labour Officer was wrong, the minister had disregarded it.
The regional branch secretary said there was a systemic disregard for civil service procedures and regulations amounting to interference in their work.
Mr Collison said the agitation by civil servants was in support of the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision in 2017 that all civil servants had to be neutral in the performance of their work.
He said if in the past some civil servants had been dismissed because they were found to have been biased in their work, it was fitting that ministers and politicians also had to stay neutral or face the consequences.
"At the Ministry of Finance (MoF), personal assistants have been made directors, while in other ministries there are transfers of civil servants and promotions ongoing without recourse to civil service procedures," he said.
He said at the Bureau of Ghana Languages, for instance, someone from the National Commission on Culture, a subvented organisation, had been put in charge.
"The national association is on top of the matter and we will be going all out to demonstrate if our concerns are not addressed," he said.
The Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Mr Isaac Bampoe-Addo, said the issue about interference in civil service work by politicians had persisted over the years, adding that the national executive of the association had been informed of the intended demonstrations.