The Technical Staff Association (TSA) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) was inaugurated on Thursday to provide a common platform for dealing with work-related issues.
Professor Benjamin Jabez Nyarko, the Director-General of the GAEC, at the inaugural ceremony in Accra, congratulated the members of the TSA for working with scientists and researchers over the years to achieve successes.
He recounted the role played by the GAEC technical staff in fixing the faulty components of the Commission’s Research Reactor, bringing it back to life.
Prof. Nyarko explained that the Technical Staff were previously part of the Senior and Junior Staff Association, which involved the diverse professionals of the Commission until 25th January 2019.
However, the composition, made it difficult for them to champion issues related to their occupational welfare.
He, however, said the absence of a common platform for these group to share knowledge in their field of work and to promote continuous professional development, necessitated the formation of the TSA with a common objective, to make it easier for management to understand the plight of its workers in the various workshops and laboratories.
The TSA had become a platform for staff to discuss matters related to occupational health and safety, quality assurance and control documentation and implementation in the Commission’s laboratories and workshops, and improving knowledge in analytical instrumental techniques among members, he said.
It would also ensure the progressive update of Standard Operational procedures, practising good maintenance culture in laboratories and workshops, and encouraging interlaboratory comparator assessments with other sister organisations locally and internationally, he said.
Mr William Srekuma, the Director of Administration, GAEC, emphasized the need for continuous investment in personnel development and strengthening of synergies with other professional bodies to achieve better results.
He pledged the support of Management in guiding the TSA and encouraging its members to see themselves as advocates of the Commission for a common purpose towards national development.
Prof. Samuel Nii Odai, the Vice-Chancellor of the Accra Technical University, who gave the Keynote address, challenged the membership to grab the opportunities that came along with “the new beginning,” but being mindful also of the attendant responsibilities.
He urged the Association to remain focused on maintaining a strong unity of purpose, saying “the success of GAEC was dependent on one purpose,” and that “you must learn to speak the language of this great institution by considering its vision, mission, challenges, and how the Commission is run, to be modest in your demands.”
He encouraged the TSA to follow and align with the vision of the Commission, leading to the breaking of new grounds to create the needed recognition and visibility for the Association through GAEC’s successes.
“Do not put your vision and interest of your Association above that of the Commission, and be conscious of showing empathy, to encourage Management, to ensure equality in dealing with the concerns and welfare of all members of staff.
Prof. Odai urged management to explain the conditions of their work and other issues in the employment letters to staff to avoid future misunderstanding.
Mr Frank Darku-Ankrah, the Chairman, Trade Union Congress, said the purpose of forming the Association was to partner with the Management of the Commission to achieve successes and its mandate, and not to fight them.
He entreated the leadership to spearhead the professional upgrading of its members to remain relevant in the era of advanced science and technology.
Solidarity messages were also given by the University of Ghana Technical Association, the Research Scientists, and GAEC senior Staff Association, who pledged their respective support to the TSA.
Mr Jacob Asomaning, the TSA Chairman, GAEC, thanked the Director-General and Management for the support received, and smooth transition of the TSA.
He said the Association was willing to cooperate with and continue to receive immense support to enhance its productivity and service.
He said the TSA had already started working hand-in-hand with management by effectively collaborating with research scientists at the wake of the COVID-19 era to commercially produce hand sanitizers for the market.
He said going forward the TSA should not be reduced to community welfare and financial support operator but that through effective collaboration with research scientists, it would rather evolve and emerge as a technical group capable of delivering world-class services in the scientific industry and help champion Ghana’s nuclear agenda.