Local gov’t workers kick against privatization of property rates collection

The Local Government Workers Union (LGWU) of the Ghana Trades Union Congress, has expressed its disappointment on the privatization of property rate collection by some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

It said much as it appreciated the frantic efforts by the assemblies to step up revenue generation, LGWU did not think increased revenue should be attained on the altar of making workers redundant.

In its resolution at its recent 9th delegates conference copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, LGWU, therefore, appealed to the Government through the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to prevail on the assemblies to rescind the decision.

“It is a worrying situation which is paving the way for redundancy of revenue staff of the Assemblies,” the Union said.

It said the argument by the MMDAs that the privatization of the collection of property rate was to increase revenue had been defeated, because the very high commission that would be paid to these private contractors would obviously undermine the strenuous effort being made by the assemblies to increase their revenue base.

“What we expect from the Assemblies as they strive to generate enough funds to provide social amenities, is to put in place modalities to improve on the efficiency of the property rate revenue collectors and also institute incentive packages for them, instead of privatizing the collection…”

“It is the opinion of the LGWU that property rate collectors, if well motivated, they will be able to efficiently and effectively collect the property rates, because property rate collection is one area of revenue generation, which can be described as Gold mine for the Assemblies. If in the past, the property rate revenue collectors could not perform well, it was because of lack of motivation, and training programmes to improve on their skills,” the resolution said.

The LGWU, the resolution said, believed the collection of property rates should not be a difficult endeavour because buildings were immovable properties and it should be easy for the assemblies to get access to the owners when they defaulted in payment by taking them to court.

The resolution also touched on double deductions of Union members’ dues by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, which it said should be rectify as soon as possible.

“We call on the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to work closely with the leadership of the LGWU to find a lasting solution to the issue of double dues deduction of members. This deduction has seriously affected the incomes of our cherished members,” it said.

“We wish to emphasize that if this concern is not given the urgency it deserves, the rank and file of the union will have no option than to resort to the relevant legal measures and mass protests to press home our demand.”

The union also called on Government to take the necessary steps as practicable as possible to work towards the subvention of the salaries of the assembly paid staff.

Again it said, the LGWU called for adequate resource to be given to the health and sanitation departments of the assemblies with qualified staff and appropriate logistics to facilitate their work.

“The union also expects all Ghanaians to adopt positive attitude and take keen interest in activities aimed at improving on the level of sanitation, and desist from practices that tend to impact negatively on the environment.”

On elections, the LGWU urged Ghanaians to see this year’s general elections as another opportunity to showcase to the global community the strides being made to entrench democratic and constitutional governance in Ghana.

“It is important for the political party leaders to appreciate the fact that in any contest there will be winners and losers as such one will be faced with the task of leading these two groups whose expertise need to be tapped for national development.

“The officials of the Electoral Commission, the security agencies and the media houses owe it a duty to exhibit high standards of professionalism in the discharge of their duties in the period leading to the polls and after,” the LGWU said.

Source: GNA

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