General News of 2014-08-06

Don’t pay striking POTAG members - Nunoo Mensah

The Head of the Human Security Department of the National Security Council Secretariat, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (rtd) is pushing the government to suspend salaries of striking Polytechnic teachers in Ghana.

Polytechnic teachers of the West African country (Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana) have been on strike since May 15 over book and research allowances, which are in arrears.

The strike has led to the closure of all 10 polytechnics in the country.

The former National Security Advisor said it is “unfair for anyone on strike to receive his pay” at the end of the month “when they have never provided any service.”

Speaking to Accra-based Radio Gold on Wednesday, the retired security capo urged the government “to introduce a clause in the Labour Laws” that will ensure non-payment of salary to striking workers.

“Why should anyone who is on strike be paid?” the ex-military officer quizzed. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Brig. Gen Mensah believes union leaders have often declared strikes in Ghana without “proper consultation with their members” and that stems from the high level of indiscipline in the country.

He added: “You can’t sit down somewhere and mess the government about… we must put that in the Labour Law (suspension of salaries). The government must sit up and let’s call a spade a spade. Why should I pay you when you decide to go on strike and have not worked” throughout the month.

Brig. Gen. Mensah raised similar issues last year during the inauguration of a nine-classroom block he built for O’reilly Senior High School in Accra. He asked striking workers at the time, to leave the country if the “kitchen is too hot” for them.