Africa Public and Civil Service Union Network (APACSUN) has expressed indignation that large proportion of workers on the continent are not covered under the social security systems, especially for the informal sector.
APACSUN has, therefore, resolved to support member unions to study and adopt best practices that enable the improvement of pension administration and benefits for members.
This was in a communique the Network issued at the end of its Second Strategic Meeting in Ghana from January 15 to 17, signed by Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association Ghana (CLOGSAG) and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday.
The Communique said the Network would embark on campaigns to ensure greater representation of workers on boards that administered and managed pensions and support review of pension legislations for prudent management of funds.
It will build coalitions with other social forces to condemn and resist the privatisation agenda at the national and regional levels that have so far failed to deliver.
The Communique said it would provide graphic evidence of the failure of the privatisation experiment and the Private Public Partnership (PPP) variant and showcase alternative policies that are delivering public services and increasing citizens’ access to quality.
“Taking cognisance of the comparatively reasonable numbers in the public and civil services, low participation, poor and limited benefits resulting from bad investments and poor management of funds by Pension administrators have left most workers in a very sorry state at retirement,” it stated.
The Communique acknowledged some attempts at ensuring reforms for successful pension but noted that those measures did not make adequate provisions for cross cutting issues such as housing, elderly care, maternity protection and health care for workers during active service and upon retirement.
It noted that the United Nations Agenda 2030 on “Sustainable Development,” and the Africa Union Agenda 2063 on “the Africa We Want,” all underscored the absolute centrality of access to public services to all peoples.
According to the Communique notwithstanding the glaring failure of the privatisation experiment over the last three decades, governments in Africa continued to succumb to the various variants of privatisation, especially PPP arrangements.
The Public and Civil servants constitute a substantial proportion of the formal workforce in most countries in Africa with most spending their entire working life in the service.
The Network is made up Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania with members including CLOGSAG, Public Services Workers’ Union Senior Staff Association of Judicial Service of Ghana, Union of Kenya Civil Servants, and Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers.
The rest are Nigeria Civil Service Union and Tanzania Union of Government and Health Employees.