The current government NPP has been dishonest with the issue of arrears. Indeed, every government leaves one arrears or the other but this NPP then in opposition “feasted” on the situation to their political advantage. They made it seem that they will have an IMMEDIATE solution to the problem once voted to power. And they indeed named it LEGACY ARREARS to create effect.
It is important to note that before December 2016, majority of you had been validated and submitted to the Ministry of Finance who were to push your staff IDs and amount to be paid to CAGD for payment but the NPP halted that process when they came to power in 2017 January until April 2017.
Since NPP came to power in January 2017,several things have happened concerning the arrears but unknown to most of you. Let me recount a few. The validated IDs at the Ministry of Finance awaiting payment was halted from being pushed to CAGD for payment from December 2016 (due to the election and transition ), January 2017, february 2017 and March 2017(because the new finance minister requested that we hold on until they read their first budget. It was also to enable them to familiarize themselves with the realities of happenings there). Remember the finance minister Ken Ofori Atta read his first budget on the 27th of March 2017 and the understanding was that payment of the arrears was going to resume from April 2017. Interestingly, if you will remember, it was in that month that people didnt receive salaries because they had not done SSNIT biometric.
What happened dishonestly then was that, if you were to receive some of the retention premium arrears and you had a SSNIT biometric issue, you were not paid anything including salary for that month April 2017 and when your SSNIT biometric issue is rectified, you were denied the arrears.
Find out from those recruited as PT and from tertiary and are victims and tell them to check their April 2017 payslips and u will confirm this retention premium issue.
The category of arrears they paid that month was SALARY ARREARS. Salary arrears victims are mostly those who were recruited as PT or directly from the university or Poly. (We have three categories; upgrading, salary and promotion arrears). And as you an refer on your payslip, your salary is a combination of the single spine salary plus the retention premium. The retention premium is 15% of your salary. But strangely, they PAID ONLY RETENTION PREMIUM ARREARS. Which means that whatever amount was owed the victims of salary arrears, only 15% of it in total has been paid leaving a whooping 85% behind.
After this, the NPP government strangely decided to pay the remaining arrears through SUPPLEMENTARY SALARY but strangely, it never showed on the supplementary payslips of the recipients. It rather reflected in their bank accounts and the banks alerted them through text. The amounts being paid was so small ranging from Ghc200 to an a maximum of Ghc1800.
Most of you have quietly received such amounts but u never thought was your arrears. Pls that’s what the NPP has for you as your arrears.
As the NPP government still used this legacy arrears to paint the previous NDC government black, they ironically also accumulated similar arrears between 2017 and 2019. Am sure most of you were shocked when a recent letter directing payment of arrears rather captured victims between October 2016 and December 2019.
They now go and hide behind the teacher unions especially GNAT and request for staff IDs of teachers WHO CLAIM they are owed arrears. All teacher unions submit their list to GES and GES scrutinizes them and returns with a few they accept to be owing. Common sense dictates that if you admit you are owing me, then there is no misunderstanding and that you just have to pay me but strangely, GES requestsfor documents from these teachers and insultingly, asked for those documents to be submitted within 3days in some districts.
And at a time that teachers were not either close to home or their stations, some had to ran helter skelter just to made the deadline.
The reason why I said GES was playing politics with the legacy arrears issue when the requested for the IDs of victims from the teacher unions is that, legacy arrears can ONLY BE PAID after it has gone through the hands of the group they called STAKEHOLDERS. These stakeholders include GES(collection of documents of victims from various districts and regional IPPD offices), Ghana Audit Service (they audit the documents from GES and query or validate them), ministry of Finance ( they receive validated staff IDs from the Ghana Audit Service and push to CAGD for payment), CAGD (they do the payment using ur employment and bank details), Teacher Unions (Observer in the interest of the victims who are their members), Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (Observer and come in to arbitrate in case of any misunderstanding) and Ghana Labour Commision (arbitrator). So it was strange for GES to have attempted any payment process without the involvement of ALL STAKEHOLDERS.
The government has deliberately ignored the validated IDs by the Ghana Audit service personnel who did it whiles working at the offices of the Fair Wages and Salary Commission sometime ago. I remember most of you were here. That is why when the auditors came round, most of you were told that you have been validated and that you should wait for your money but your money has never come.
One other reason why I have kept using dishonest for this NPP government on this issue is because within their four year tenure, they have made pronouncements and released several documents to the effect that ALL LEGACY ARREARS HAVE BEEN PAID. A critical look at ALL THE DOCUMENTS RELEASED for this purpose shows that the documents were FAKE. But yet, someone in an office as high as the vice president is among those who have spoken to these documents which turned out to be fake.
In conclusion, most of you have been paid amounts far below what you expected through either the retention premium or sneaked into your bank account. You discount them and still say u haven’t been paid but sorry, the government has played a fast one on you. There is a teacher who told me his colleague received Ghc8200 as arrears in July 2016 so he was also waiting for a similar amount. I guess most of you are in this soup. My candid advise to you is to FORGET AND MOVE ON.