After eight months of multi-party negotiations and arbitration, the Collective Agreement for technical workers in Ghana’s telecommunication industry has been concluded.
Subsequently, the Telecom and IT Professionals Union (TIP) has signed the Collective Agreement (CA) with four telecom service sub-contractors with the aim of ensuring a peaceful working environment.
The quest for the CA came last year after agitations by the technical staff of the companies for improved and fair working conditions in the industry.
The Telecom and IT Professionals Union, formerly known as Telecommunication Outsourced Staff Alliance of Ghana (TOSAG) signed the CA with Linfra Ghana Limited, MP Infrastructure Ghana Limited, Reime Ghana Limited and Reliance Personal Services.
The CA spells out the responsibilities and duties of both employers and employees regarding work performance, remuneration, staff welfare, disciplinary, and dispute resolution procedures among others.
Members of the Union are mostly back office, front office, field service engineers and IT/VAS engineers and technicians in the Managed Services Division whose work serve as the backbone operations for the telecommunications companies in the country.
The leadership of TIP and the companies believe the CA would effectively guide the relationship between management and workers for enhanced service delivery.
While the union believes it would promote job security and remuneration for the workers, the management of the firms are optimistic of enhanced productivity and industrial peace.
Sika Abla Addo, lead negotiator for the four SBCs, in her remarks, was delighted at the “fruitful conclusion” and signing of the CA, and commended all the parties for their contribution.
She stressed the need for both the union and employers to respect the agreement to ensure a healthy partnership.
“We would not sign a Collective Agreement and disregard the same Collective Agreement, and do things as if we do not have a CA. Now we will not do things as usual. We have to inculcate the culture of working together as partners to move forward,” she stressed.
The President of Telecom and IT Professionals Union (TIP), Israel Edem Agbegbor said the signing of the CA would go a long way to enhance labour-management cooperation between the workers and the employers thereby leading to a very peaceful and productive working environment.
According to him the coming into force of a CA is a welcoming news to members of the union, since its implementation is going to ensure their job security.
“This has now given us the opportunity to be involved in the decision making of the company that we sacrifice so much for. We are also talking about security and pay remuneration to match productivity,” he said.
Austin Akufo Gamey, Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamy Group, who led the union in the negotiations, reminded both parties about the responsibilities that come with signing a Collective Agreement and urged them to desist from interpreting the CA but rather seek to implement it.
“We now have a responsibility. The CA is a prime source of labour information guide that sits between the employer and workers. Sometimes people in HR office and even in Unions may want to interpret the provisions. You are not supposed to interpret anything, you are supposed to implement what is written without interpreting. If you have a problem of understanding the meaning of a provision, consult the available signed minutes,” he said.
Others present at the signing ceremony were Theophilus Aboagye Siaw, Director for MP Infrastructure Ghana Limited; Jacob Nii Armah Quaye , HR/ BP at Reliance Personal Services; Ziad Ofali, Operation Manager, Linfra Ghana Limited; David Asare-Amegashi, Vice President of TIP, and Bismark Elsbend Osabrah, Welfare/Organizer of TIP.
By Benjamin Nana Appiah/adrdaily.com