By Patrick Biddah
Workers of the Local Government Institute located at Madina in Accra, are crying over the incessant salary delays since the advent of Akufo-Addo government.
According to insiders, since last year, the Institute, has been experiencing salary delays and is expected to continue into this year.
More disturbing is the revelation that, the management of the Institute under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, failed to pay December salary, leaving workers to go home empty handed, hungry and disappointed.
Some of the workers revealed that, their families could not have any celebration during the Christmas and New Year, as expected from working parents.
According to the workers, the issue of salary delays, have become a constant feature, as workers no longer make any plans against their salaries.
It was revealed that, the situation is bad to the extent that the workers whose salary range between Ghc250.00 and Ghc780.00 have resorted to borrowing.
According to information, salary delays for as long as three months, by which time monies workers borrowed from different sources, become difficult to pay.
This is the first time in many years that the Local Government Institute, is facing this challenge in view of the fact that it does not draw salary from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.
The Institute’s sources of generating funds; include, renting out their land space to private entities for events such as wedding, receptions, funeral services and other outdoor events.
The Institute also rents out its conference rooms for seminars, workshops and symposia among others where some quick cash are made.
Under the leadership of Dr. Esther Offei Aboagye who was the Director at the Institute until her retirement in January 2015, the workers say she did all she could to avoid delays in salary.
They praised her for not awarding contracts to herself, but ensuring that proceeds from any contract that the Institute won to offer services for other cooperate entities, was safely lodged into the accounts of the Institute.
Numbering over 100, the workers plight begun in April last year, when they were hard hit by Salary delay between April to June.
For the entire three months, the staff struggled to make ends meet, because they were not paid for these period, and only received the salaries at the end of June.
But this was short-lived as the salary for July and August was also not paid until September. This development continued throughout last year where October salary was also paid on November 29.
The workers who described the situation as first time in the history of the Institute, ended the year without their December salary.
As it stands now, the December salary which is the salary every worker looks up to before Christmas, eluded the them.
It is 23 days into the New Year, and December salary has still not been paid.
Aside the issues of constant salary delays, are the low salaries of workers. A degree holder earns a little above Ghc700.00 according to information.
The issue of salary increment has also been one of the burning issues. The last time salaries were increased was six years ago and that was for senior staff.
Currently, the deputy director of the Institute, Dr. Daramani Mahama, is acting as the Director after Dr Dadson Avunyo Vitor, who was appointed in 2017 resigned after serving for few months as Director.
When The Herald contacted the acting Director via phone to speak with him on the issue, he said he was not Dr Daramani Mahama, although sources confirmed his MTN cellular number on which he was reached.
The Institute of Local Government which was founded in 1999, is a public management development Institute.
It was established under an Act of Parliament 647 of 2003 and it is to strengthen the capacities of district assemblies, regional Coordinating councils and other interested parties.