Ghana's labour unions declare strike over 2nd-tier pension

By Sam Edem
A labour union strike
A labour union strike

Twelve of the country's labour unions have declared an indefinite strike action to protest government’s handling of the tier-2 pension contributions of public sector workers with effect from the 29th of September, 2017.

Among the protesting labour unions are: the Ghana Medical Association (GMA); the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG); the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), among others.

Over the past few months, the labour unions demanded that their pension contributions from 2010 to last year - 2016, be transferred to their custodian banks as opposed to being kept in a temporary pensions account where it accrues no interests.

In what was the climax of this issue, the Public Relations Officer of CLOGSAG, Edmund Acquaye, threatened that the union will take to the streets if government failed to address its concern over the pension fund.

He is quoted as saying that all the labour unions were asking for was for “government to pay the monies that have been accrued by the Bank of Ghana that is in the temporary pensions account. What we are saying is that, since 2010 to 2016, contributors’ money have been kept at the Bank of Ghana which is yielding no interest”.

Three (3) years ago- 2014, unions embarked on a similar measure(strike action) over the same issued but were sued by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC), government. The strike witnessed the partial, or complete shutdown of major public institutions in the country.

Now, they have renewed that effort by insisting that the Ministry of Finance use Pension Alliance Trust as a sole trustee of the 2nd-tier pension scheme for all employees on government payroll.