Covid-19 contact tracers in the Ashanti Region have laid down their tools after their allowances were slashed.
They are agitating over the reduction over their daily allowances from GH¢150 to GH¢70.
In a radio interview with Accra based Citi FM on Friday, a spokesperson for the group, Ibrahim Dauda said "I've worked for almost one month one week now and we have not received anything. We contacted our people and we asked them why we were not receiving the money, they said the money will come. So last week, we had a call that our money has come and so we should come for it. But when we went, there were a lot of differences. When you go to Tafo the money they gave them is different from those at Obuasi."
He added that there are disparities in the payment, "Tafo people received GH¢600, those at Suame received GH¢704, those at Obuasi received GH¢1600 and those at Bosomtwi also received GH¢300 for working for one month. When you calculate our money it is supposed to be almost GH¢5400. That is the money they were supposed to give us but our people are saying they will give us only GH¢70 a day. Even with the GH¢70 there is a lot of disparity among the districts in the Ashanti region."
"So we are laying down our tools since one week now we have never worked. As of today that I am talking to you, I am supposed to go and pick some samples of a Covid-19 patient and because they are not paying us, I have decided not to go. A lot of people calling me to come for their samples because the 14 days is due," he stated.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF GHANA FROM THE COALITION OF CONTACT TRACERS, ASHANTI REGION.
Thursday, 11th June, 2020.
REPUBLIC OF GHANA
DAILY ALLOWANCE AND MATTERS ARISING
Good day Mr. President. Please accept from us warm fraternal greetings. We pray this letter finds you in good health.
This second letter is necessitated due to the strange and surprising silence from your office and government with regards to our previous letter dated 4th of June, 2020. It is strange because no one would expect this silence in abnormal times like this.
For your information Mr. President, contact tracers in the Ashanti Region have not been working since 2nd of June, 2020 till date.
The country currently has 10,201 total cases with 1653 newly confirmed between the period we laid down our tools. In effect, it means some 16,530 contacts are not being followed which has the tendency of increasing our cases by some 33,060. With all these disturbing possible situations, its very surprising that no one is saying anything or responding to us.
Mr. President, we are writing again to inform you that we are still gravely aggrieved. We still do not understand the steep slash in our daily allowances from the initially announced by you on the 5th of April, 2020. We do not understand why the month of may should be any different from the month of April. We do not understand why there are disparities and inconsistences across the region.
Mr. President, Contact Tracers in Kumasi Metro were given Ghc1050, Suame Ghc704, Bosomtwe Ghc300, Sekyere East Ghc250, Obuasi Ghc1600, Old Tafo Ghc600 etc for a whole month worth of work. We do not understand why the differences since we all did the same job. And also, why the reduction from Ghc150 a day which would have summed up to about Ghc4000 to these understandable amounts.
Mr. President, as we suggested earlier, we would like to hear from your office or from one of your ministers at the daily ministerial press briefing on the above issue.
Thank you as we wait anxiously in an anticipation of a response to our grievances.