The Ghana Prison Services has decried what it describes as poor conditions of service of its personnel.
According to the Service, the meagre nature of salary as well as allowances given personnel have left them perpetually assigned to hardship.
This was disclosed at a high-level meeting with the top hierarchy of the prison services and the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu on Tuesday, May 17.
President of the Retired Prison Officers Association, Kofi Oppong Tweneboah Kodua who spoke on behalf of the services used the opportunity to register their displeasure so far as the work of prison officers are concerned.
Touching on the salary of personnel, Mr Kodua said: “The basic pay is very small [to the point that] the pension is worked on basic pay.”
He said a Professor, Ekow Daniels' recommendation to Cabinet in the 1980s saw all the security agencies placed on an equal pay structure, however, the table turned when the government introduced the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) in 2010.
For the past few months, things have been difficult for the Service resulting in the death of eight people within a month, he added.
Mr Kodua explained the life of an average prison official after an active service is disheartening as “Most of our people have developed hypertension because of the strenuous nature of the job as well as the poor pension pay which we can’t live on longer enough.”
The Retired Prison Officer said anytime they complain about the poor conditions of service, they are often referred to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to go and have their issues addressed.
Employment and Labor Ministry, Haruna Iddrisu said it is a well-established fact that the prison service is “disadvantaged in respect of your pensions and gratuity which is a computation of your basic salary which itself lacks behind relative to other security agencies under the Ministry of Interior.”
To remedy the imbalance, Mr. Iddrisu recommended “a unified pensions regime for all the security agencies under the Ministry of Interior or under those that operate under the laws of Ghana and are creations of the Constitution.”
He promised the government will reconsider a “holistic review of the entire pension regime vis-à-vis the passage of the Pension Act (ACT 766).”