Central University to sack over 200 staff in latest revelation
More than 200 staff of the Central University College are expected to be laid off according to the Registrar of the institution owned by the International Central Gospel Church, Mr. Emil Afenyo.
In a voice recording, while addressing 67 persons including Junior and Senior staff who were recently sacked following claims by management it is implementing a staff rationalization exercise to reduce the wage bill and improve efficiencies in customer support, service delivery and administrative excellence, the Registrar is heard lamenting about the poor finances of the institution.
“In that document, the mandate they have given us is to reduce the staff cost by 40%. We have approximately 500 staff. So if you’re going to reduce the cost by 40%, you can imagine the number of staff that must be laid off”, he revealed.
“What we did over the last year was to try to negotiate it as much as possible to see if we could reassign people with the hope that the university numbers would expand then it will not be necessary for people to be laid off. So you see that last year twice we did quite a major set of the reassignments. It has helped only to an extent. As I am speaking our staff cost is still 2.7 million cedis and for the past 10 months, we have been running only on overdrafts.
So meeting with the council (University Council) again in December they made it clear that whatever leeway we’ve been asking for we can’t have it, we need to finish up on this matter. So a committee was set up to review how we would approach the matter. And the bottom line is that you are among probably the 2nd or 3rd batch of people who the university is going to let go off. It is not over. All drivers will ultimately be gone because that’s the position of the operational document”.
But the about 67 staff who were recently sacked via text messages claimed they have served the university faithfully with all their toil for between 10 to 20 years have refused to sign the severance agreement prepared by the university.
They have engaged the services of a law firm who have pointed out the illegality of the whole redundancy process to the university management.
The illegality bothers on section 65 of Act 651 (Labour Act), which prescribes that, amongst other things, the severance pay is supposed to be negotiated between the affected employees on one hand and the employer on the other hand.
The affected staff are asking to be paid 3 months Gross Salary (Basic Salary, Rent allowance plus Transport Allowance) for each year worked as the layoff is sudden and would adversely affect the quality of their life. Management also deliberately came out with new regulations canceling all accumulated leave of staff members in December 2017 on the declare staff redundant in January 2018.
According to them, their layoff is as an attempt to deny them payment for their accumulated leave.