General News of 2014-07-14

VRA: We are not sacking workers

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has denied the suggestion that it is about to lay off seven hundred workers.

Rather, the company says that it is restructuring and realigning some departments of the company to ensure profitability and to cut down cost and waste.

In that direction, VRA says that it is about to hive off and make autonomous its education, health and estate departments.

VRA has schools located at Aboadze, Akosombo and Akuse hospitals in Accra, Akosombo and Aboadze, as well as real estate distributed across the country.

In an interview with Mr. Sam Fletcher of the Public Affairs Department of VRA last week, he said that over the years VRA had acquired various branches, facilities and departments that do not form part of the court functions of VRA, which is to generate electric power.

He said that some of these departments are in education, health care delivery and real estate.

He said that VRA has schools, hospitals and many landed properties.

He said that, as part of the company’s social responsibility, it allows people and children from local communities to attend these schools and hospitals. He said that these facilities are now departments of Volta River Authority (VRA).

“Now take the schools…even though they operate like normal schools, they do not operate under the Ghana Education Service (GES) or conditions of GES. The conditions of staff are the same as the conditions of workers under BRA and anytime we ask for tariff adjustments from the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) they complain about our large staff strength,” he said.

“What we are saying is that if the schools become part of the subsidiary, then they would work for the subsidiary. What we intend to do is give them a package, as well as a year’s extension of contract, and if they still like to work with the subsidiaries, they can continue with the new companies. The new companies would have their own boards, with new management. These companies would operate for profit and under the conditions prevailing in the market sector as well as their conditions,” he said.

Fletcher said that it was not factual that VRA is laying off seven hundred workers.

“Rather 520 workers would be affected. They are of various ages, but those who are 56 and above would be kept on till retirement on VRA conditions,” he said.

Source: Daily Searchlight
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