A former Member of Parliament for the Gomoa West constituency, Alexander Abban is urging civil servants to fight for better salaries rather than more allowances, which he says provide only immediate satisfaction. Speaking on The Big Issue on Citi TV/FM, he said while he agrees that civil servants in the country deserve better conditions of service, he believes that receiving better salaries would make them better of after their retirement than the allowances they are currently seeking.
“The focus should rather be on how our salaries will be improved. When you go to some places, the allowances [they receive] put together are above the salary itself. So in your hay days you enjoy it, and you forget that as you enjoy your eggs now, you are reducing the number of chickens you’ll have in future,” he said. Members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) have been on strike since April 21, 2022, demanding the payment of neutrality allowance.
Despite meetings with their employers, government, they are yet to come to an agreement. The demand for the neutrality allowance has generated public debate, with divided opinions on the relevance of such an allowance.
While some contend that the government giving in to this demand willopen the floodgate for other allowance claims from the state, some believe that such an allowance is important to keep civil and local government workers away from serving based on their political interests. But Alexander Abban, who is a lawyer and former Deputy Health Minister, stressed that civil servants are among the least paid government workers and must be given their due.
He said he believes that the neutrality allowance is a general name given to various allowances being demanded by CLOGSAG, however, he expects them to push for better pay. “It appears to me that Ghanaians want to enjoy allowances more than asking for our salaries to be improved, but in the final analysis, when you retire, it is not the allowances that will determine the pension you’ll get, it is the salary,” he said.