The Head of Civil Service has justified the demand for the payment of neutrality allowance for members of Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG).
Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena said the civil and local government staff, and to a large extent, public servants, have contributed immensely to the development of the country and must be given what they deserve.
According to him, the issue of neutrality allowance has been a matter of discussion since 2019.
Addressing members of CLOGSAG to mark this year’s May Day celebrations in Accra, on Sunday, he said out of 48 proposed allowances tabled by CLOGSAG, only 8 were accepted by the government, consolidated into what has come to be known as the neutrality allowance.
“The context of all this started not yesterday. It started way back in 2019, under the leadership of the Hon Osafo-Maafo and we have been working very hard since 2019 on this issue and series of allowances numbering 48. We came down close to 8 and finally harmonized all that. The neutrality business is a representation of the motley lot of allowances.”
The essence of the controversial allowance has been questioned, with some suggesting it is at variance with the civil service code of conduct.
In response to such critics, Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena stated that “you are entitled to your own opinion, but the point remains a fact that nobody has really contested that the Civil Service and Local Government Service have gone through the process.”
He urged Ghanaians to be sympathetic and supportive of the Association with regard to its demands.
“We are one of the organisations that hardly undertake industrial action, one of the organisations that are much more flexible in terms of understanding of issues because we are the center of government.
“We are part of the broad process, we are part of policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation process, so we clearly understand the challenges of this country and so I want to encourage the people of Ghana to come to a certain understanding of the role civil servants in national development and support us.”
He also indicated that the nature of the work of CLOGSAG membership makes it important for government to honour the promise to pay.
CLOGSAG laid down its tools on Thursday, April 21, 2022, following the inability of government to pay the neutrality allowance as agreed in January this year.
The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) says its demand for neutrality allowance is appropriate and justified.
The neutrality allowance is to ensure that civil and local government workers do not engage in partisanship while conducting their affairs when they are in their various offices.
According to the Association, it will continue to strike until government fully commits to paying the money.
This year’s May Day celebration was held under the theme, “Protecting Jobs and Incomes in the era of Covid-19 and Beyond.”