Testing the Endurance of a #DeadGoat with our taste buds; Labour Unions STRIKING PEPPER SOUP in an election year
About a year ago President John Dramani Mahama made a memorable pronouncement on an official trip to the southern African Republic of Botswana.
Now Botswana is a country close to my heart for several interesting reasons, not including their importation of 400 live goats to augment the national shortfall they suffered this year.
Our president on his visit to this beautiful Republic & I use the word beautiful with all sincerity did turn himself into a goat. Not a live one though, John Dramani Mahama did proclaim himself a “dead goat” in the land after my own heart.
In a press conference while answering questions about our budget deficit & labour agitations during election years which have repeatedly thrown our nations public spending off gear every 4 years the president said & I quote; “I am like a dead goat who fears no knife”(in Twi; odwanfunu nsuro sikan). Clearly stating his position on dealing with labour agitations this election year.
The president so far has stood by his words & remained defiant to the various pressures brought against his government by labour groups including pharmacists, lecturers, local government workers, judicial staff etc.
It looks as though for once the commitment of our ruling class to stick to an austerely budget & keep our public spending in check might be materialising in no less a year than an election year when the ruling government is seeking the votes of the people to renew its mandate. This laudable commitment if seen through by the Mahama administration will be a telling sign of the president’s willingness to allowing our economy to self sustain itself &; not drive us into the ditch our labour unions forced the hands of previous governments including the Mills/Mahama government of 2012.
The John Kufour government after dragging us into HIPC which saw most of our foreign debt being written off gave in to the demands of labour unions in the 2008 election year & saw all the economic successes they chalked being swept away like the proverbial elephant being chased into the bush after the 2008 elections.
Former President John Kufour famously said when justifying the need to reconcile public workers salaries to productivity said and I quote; “In Ghana we pretend to pay workers & they pretend to work”. By all means a fair days work deserves a fair days pay.
No worker should have to sweat their brows for less than they deserve. Our current minimum wage of GHC 8.80 maybe abysmal by some standards but we all know most public worker earn more than that. I am not saying they don’t deserve better but our nations public spending should be rooted in productivity.
It is time we moved away from non – quantifiable utility based assessment of the work done by public servants to define task based assessment of the utility of public servants. We need to know how much effort a worker is putting into his define role at his job & the qualification & expertise that worker brings unto his job.
The Fair Wages & salaries Commission needs to do a better job at defining the criteria, level of qualification & role definition of the various workers union. Surely nurses & pharmacists do not require the same sets of skills & qualifications for their various responsibilities at the hospital. The efforts they both put into their jobs require different stress levels, mental capabilities & expertise.
We do not have to classify & renumerate different professionals in such a way that some of them feel cheated & unappreciated.
But after all is said & done we need to instill in our youth the spirit of sacrifice for our fledgling economy. A developing country cannot spend on its public servants like a developed nation. We have to inculcate the principle of “Delayed Gratification”. That sacrificing today will lead to a better tomorrow for us all. Let our pharmacists, local government workers and lecturers know that the affordable housing complexes at Segleme & other satellite communities are within their reach & not constructed for party foot soldiers & government functionaries. That a primary school teacher can go for a mortgage at HFC & be able to pay for a 3 bedroom house within 5 – 10 years.
My generation is neither daft nor greedy. We’re only self aware & eager for opportunities to sacrifice for our nation with the hope that one day our nation will not forsake us like it did our fathers.
In all I applaud the president’s conviction to rather be prepared to loose an election than pay teacher training allowances which in my opinion is obsolete and has outlived its usefulness. The Students Loan Trust is a far better alternative & in the spirit of fairness all tertiary students should embrace it.
To the politicians making ridiculous promises not rooted in the economics of developing economies? God has seen you all…. (lastly I’d like to thank the folks at IMANI Ghana but these IMANI people dey worry onna politricksians ???)
By: Felix Darfour aka #LongMan #LMGH @kuuldee