The Executives Committee of Coalition Against the Leadership of TUC and Organized Labour in favour of Ghanaian Public Sector workers unhappy with the President refund action.
The President Nana Addo-Danquah Akuffo-Addo’s rejection and a subsequent refund of Ghc273,000 of his cumulative salary increment from January 2021 to August this year following the recommendations of the Professor Yaa Ntiamoah’s report on emoluments which suggested an increment of the salaries of Article 71 office holders within the ranges of 53%, 57% and 79% relative to the 4% paid to the ordinary Ghanaian public sector workers.
The President accordingly wrote a cheque of the above mentioned amount to be paid into the pensions and salary accounts of the Controller and Accountants General Department.
The President said he was surprised to receive the said amount due to an earlier directive he made in May this year on a freeze on all such increments on the salaries of the Vice President, his Appointees and Members of the Executives and has thus directed the Chief of Staff to ensure compliance .
The Coalition however sees the president’s action as an afterthought or perhaps a knee jerk reaction following the series of agitations and calls on the government to be sensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian public sector workers by reviewing the 4% and 7% upwardly consistent with the cost of living for the ordinary Ghanaian worker to be able to survive.
The President’s decision has brought more clouds over the issue and making it mockery on Civil servants than before because the Article 71 office holders that the emoluments committee’s work sought to cover do not only include members of the executive and other persons directly appointed by the President but also other important office holders such as the Members of Parliament and the Speaker of Parliament, Heads of Institutions such the Electoral Commissioner, National Commission For Civic Education Chairperson, Commission For Human Rights And Administrative Justice, The Chief Justice and Judges whose positions constitutionally do not require of them to be directly answerable to the President. In Fact they do not act upon the instructions and the directives of the President because of the Independence architecture of their portfolios. Yet they are equally beneficiaries of the work of the Professor Yaa Ntiamoah’s Committee recommendation on these salary increases constitutionally sanctioned by the President and may have had their accounts already credited by these increases. The multi millions dollar question is;
Why did not the President cancel the article 71 Office holders salary increment for 2021 outrightly?
How can the President’s directive to refund these salary increases be enforced to legally compel these independent Article 71 office holders to also refund theirs?
What legal action can be brought against Article 71 office holders directly under the President’s instructions and the independent Article 71 office holders in the event that they fail to comply with his suggestion of refund?
Does the President have the capacity to direct the Chief of Staff to compel the speaker of Parliament or the Chief Justice and those under independent officers to also refund their salary increases ?
Did the president officially wrote to Controller and Accountant General Department and copy parliament to freeze article 71 Office holders salary increment for 2021?
Did the president actually respect the Separation of powers?
Is the President aware that after determining his own salary and that of his appointees, it was approved by parliament and therefore can not legally compel his own appointees to refund without parliament being notified?
Is the president aware that he approved the salaries of the parliamentarians and the parliament also approved his and his appointees?
Per Article 71(2) of the 1992 constitution it states that: “The Salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities available, to the President, the Vice President, the chairman and other members of the Council of State, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers being expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund, shall be determined by Parliament on the recommendations of the committee refferred to in Clause 1of this article”- which in this case is the Professor Yaa Ntiamoah’s Committee On Emoluments Report. By extrapolation the law
does not permit the President to determine his salary increment and that of his Ministerial and Deputy ministerial appointees subject to the approval by Parliament. So for the President to arbitrary refunds what has been approved to him by Parliament and further ordering his Appointees to do same without recourse to the approving body smacks of the usurpation of parliament’s powers and a disregard to the principle of separation of powers in our governance structure. Salaries of Members of
Parliament and that of the speaker and his two deputies and some other key heads of state Institutions such as the Electoral Commission, National Commission For Civic Education, Commission For Human Rights And Administrative Justice also have theirs determined by the President. And so the Preasident should be clearer on the scope of his directive since the Chief of staff is now incharge of compliance so her remit will be clearly defined.
We believe the President’s should limit his directive the categories of Artie 71 office holders whose salaries he determines and those outside his remit for parliament to decide including that of his own salary therefore his refund cannot be accepted in the eyes of the law on the grounds of procedural impropriety.
If indeed the president really meant to freeze article 71 Office holders salary increment a letter could have been sent to Parliament and copy the Controller and Accountant General’s Department earlier for that to be done.
As it stands now the President has not canceled the salary increment of article 71 Office holders but has only refunded thereby urging his appointees to voluntarily follow his steps.
How can the Ghanaian be rest assured backed by incontestable evidence that these monies have indeed been returned❓
The by-partisan committee of Parliament that shed light on the furore surrounding the Sputnik V Vaccine saga and matters arising with the embattled Hon. Minister of Health is a perfect example.
These and many other legitimate concerns are what has compounded the confusion of this Coalition and fuel our suspicions that the President’s actions was not only to achieve an undeserved populist applause but to undermine the effort of the coalition in seeking for equity and social justice for the Ghanaian Public Sector workers.
We are saying and we are still fight relentlessly against the inhumane treatment meted out to Civil servants with the 4% and the 7% salary increment for 2021 and 2022.
The survival of Public Sector Workers including the security service Ghana Army and Ghana Police is at serious risk particularly looking at the introduction of new taxes and galloping of the prices of goods and services in the country.
Beyond these concerns the refund of the president salary increment does not change the worse situation of the ordinary Ghanaian public sector workers including the security service in the country. We do not have the benefit of other allowances or facilities such as fuel allowances, rent allowances, traveling allowances and other attendant privileges and yet pay all other taxes including the seven newly introduced ones relative rising cost of goods and services and the general economic hardship.
Coalition against the leadership of TUC and Organized Labour is optimistic that the fight against the 4% and 7% will continue unabated until authorities listen to us.
Still #No Retreat No surrender#
Azubila Emmanuel Abdul-Salam Executive Secretary of the Coalition.
Contact: 0544418072 / 0545270290
Ibrahim Adams Mumuni
Director of operations of the Coalition.
Public Relations Officer of the Coalition.