A former UN senior governance advisor, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, has described the neutrality allowance demanded by the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana’s (CLOGSAG) as ridiculous.
According to him, there are codes and ethics for every job therefore an association cannot make demands of something that has been stated in the institution’s code of ethics.
“This is the most ridiculous proposal I’ve ever heard. The so-called neutrality allowance that they’re claiming… that’s why earlier I made reference to the fact that the deputy minister of finance has retracted, saying that this is not the title they gave.
“But if it were to be that the civil servants are asking for allowance just because they are made to be neutral in politics, it’ll be the most ridiculous demand I ever heard. You take a job and every job has its code of conduct or what you may call code of ethics, and if you sign and go in, you don’t turn around and demand something that the code of ethics has clearly laid out,” Asaaseradio.com reported. Meanwhile, the Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah, has refuted suggestions that the ‘Neutrality Allowance’ being demanded by CLOGSAG is compensation for them not engaging in political activities. According to him, ‘Neutrality Allowance” is a term a committee set up by the government came up with to address the demands of the association in 2019.
He said that the public should not focus on the name of the allowance but on its purpose which is to address the salary disparity CLOGSAG members faced compared to other workers.
“… the name ‘Neutrality Allowance’… is not something that CLOGSAG demanded, it was a term. To be fair to CLOGSAG this negotiation started in 2019, it ended in the early part of 2021. I think the agreement was signed in early part of January with effective date of February, so this is about two years of engagement led by the Senior Presidential Advisor, Fair Wages Commission and the sector minister (Ministry of Employment) as well as the Ministry of Finance.
“CLOGSAG did not come on the negotiation table with Neutrality Allowance, they come with all kinds of allowances and demands which they justified – if the government accepted those demands that could triple what they are getting at the moment. So, the government and the negotiation team said something had to be done for CLOGSAG because CLOGSAG was the lowest-paid group on the single spine salary structure,” he said.