Logo of GBC
Logo of GBC

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Divisional Union and Senior Management Staff Union have jointly submitted a petition to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, decrying the illegal stoppage of workers’ allowances by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).

In the petition addressed to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Minister of Information, the unions expressed their strong disagreement with the directive issued by the FWSC, stating that it is not grounded in law and is therefore illegal.

They argue that the decision contravenes the 1992 Constitution and the Labour Law, Act 651 of 2003.

The unions outlined several key points to support their stance.

Firstly, they highlighted that the allowances in question were negotiated under the Collective Agreement of Unionized Staff and the Senior Management Union as part of the workers’ conditions of service.

According to the Labour Act 651, any conflict between the terms of a Collective Agreement and other contracts should be resolved in favour of the Collective Agreement.

Secondly, the unions emphasized that the FWSC’s claim that the allowances were not negotiated with them is erroneous.

They clarified that these allowances fall under Category 2 and 3 Core or Common Allowances enjoyed by many public service organizations.

These allowances were agreed upon during negotiations conducted under the Public Service Joint Standing Negotiation Committee (PSJSNC) and were effective from January 1, 2020.

Furthermore, the unions criticized the FWSC’s lack of adherence to due process, noting that the Ministry of Finance should have been involved in approving or disapproving any payment-related decisions.

They pointed out that the recent negotiations between GBC and the FWSC on Category 2 and 3 non-core institutional-specific allowances were processed through the Ministry of Finance for approval.

The unions also raised concerns about the behaviour of the CEO of FWSC, Mr Ben Arthur, during negotiations.

They accused him of denigrating GBC and its workers, displaying a lack of respect for the General Secretary of the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) of TUC.

The unions claimed that Mr Arthur has shown a clear bias against GBC and has provided misleading information to the media.

In conclusion, the unions requested the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to intervene in the matter, calling for the CEO of FWSC to reverse the illegal directive.

They also urged the Minister to ensure that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department restores the allowances, citing violations of the 1992 Constitution and the Labour Law, Act 651.

The petition was copied to various stakeholders, including the Chief of Staff, Minister of Finance, Speaker of Parliament, GBC Board, and TUC Secretary-General, among others.

As of now, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Minister of Information have not responded to the petition.

The GBC workers eagerly await a resolution to this dispute, hoping that their allowances will be reinstated in accordance with the law.