The Local Government Service Workers Union, (LGSWU) has commended government’s proactive response to the union’s appeal to include pubic Environmental Health Officers in the special COVID-19 package beneficiaries.
The LGSWU of Trade Union Congress-Ghana three months ago petitioned the Head of Local Government Service as well as the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, to include Environmental Health Officers at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies(MMDCs) on the list of critical frontline workers benefiting from the COVID-19 incentive package.
A statement signed by Mr Godfred Nyarko Okyere, General Secretary of the Union, said government appreciated the position of the leadership of the LGSWU and gave the assurance to work with the relevant authorities so that the Environmental Health Officers can also benefit from the package.
The positive and prompt response from the government in ensuring the inclusion of the Environmental Health Officers in the special COVID-19 package, indicated an acknowledgement of the critical role the Environmental Health officers are playing in the national fight to curtail the COVID-19 spread.
The Union, the statement said, believed that the gesture was a great motivation for the beneficiaries to give of their best in discharging their duties.
“The leadership takes this opportunity to extend its warmest gratitude to the Head of Local Government Service, Dr. Nana Ato Authur, as well as the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr. Dan Botwe, and the relevant government agencies that facilitated the processes in getting the Environmental Health officers to receive the COVID-19 package,” he said.
Despite the success made by the country in the fight against COVID-19, it said there were some worrying developments these days, especially, how some citizens were blatantly disregarding COVID-19 prevention protocols.
“These unguarded behaviours can undermine the national campaign against COVID-19 and the Union would like to take the opportunity to urge Ghanaians not to lose guard and indulge in large gathering activities which can result in a spike in covid-19 infections, and bring pressure on the health sector professionals and also the country loosing precious human resources to the disease.
“Let us all endeavor to work in a manner that will enable the country to achieve ZERO COVID-19 death and also reduce the stress on the health care system which is already over-burdened with fellow citizens suffering from other health conditions.”
It said, “The LGSWU as partners in the national efforts at accelerating socio-economic and political development, is always ready to collaborate with all agencies to advance local governance for effective decentralization, which is key to fast-tracking progress in the local communities.”
The statement said the Union would continue to encourage government to work out more comprehensive incentives for staff of MMDAs, to be highly motivated to enhance revenue mobilization to boost the Assemblies’ finances to implement programmes and projects that would have qualitative impact on the standard of living of all Ghanaians especially the marginalized and vulnerable in the communities.
“The Union believes that effective and efficient decentralization machinery coupled with the necessary better conditions of service for local government employees can bring about radical transformation of the MMDAs and by extension enhanced development at the grassroots,” it said.