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09 February 2017

Go to court to defend your jobs- Kpessah Whyte tells sacked NSS employees

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The immediate past head of the National Service Secretariat has advised sacked employees of the Secretariat to proceed to court and challenge the legality of their dismissal.

Dr Kpessah Whyte is convinced the dismissal of the 205 workers who were engaged on December 15, 2016 is unacceptable and illegal.

He told Joy FM’s Supermorning Show host Kojo Yankson due diligence was done in the hiring of the employees and any attempt to dispose off their services will be illegal.

His comments come hours after the Secretariat, on the advice of the newly approved Education Minister, annulled the employment of the 205 workers.

A statement signed by the acting Executive Director of the Secretariat Ussif Mustapha, averred due process was not followed in the recruitment of the 205 staff.

The statement cited a petition to the Public Service Commission questioning the legitimacy of the recruitment of the new workers, and a response by the Commission asking the Kpessah Whyte led Secretariat not to proceed with the recruitment until a decision is made on the petition.

In December last year a group calling itself  ‘Supporting Staff of the National Service Scheme’ alleged that the immediate past CEO of the Secretariat paid a whopping sum of Ȼ100,000 to Zormelo and Associates, a recruitment agency to hire new staff, most of whom are members of the campaign team of the then outgoing government.

The group petitioned the Nana Addo led government to review the new recruitment when it settles down. The transition team on the NPP side vowed to review some of the appointments being made.

The group further claimed that even though they are in the system as supporting staff, the immediate past CEO by-passed them and handed appointment letters to friends and cronies who were loyal to the previous government.

To make matters worse, Dr Whyte also announced a 40 percent increase in allowances for National Service Scheme employees which is to take effect this month, even though the provisional budget presented by the outgoing administration made no provision for such increases.

In annulling the appointment of the workers Ussif Mustapha reiterated that the workers were employed in flagrant violation of due process and the PSC must review the entire process and come out with its own report.

“In the meantime, persons affected by this decision should look forward to a new opportunity to have the staff recruitment properly carried out,” Mustapha said in the statement.

But his predecessor vehemently disagrees with the decision. He explained on SMS that he followed due process every step of the way in recruiting the staff.

He said in 2015 he wrote to the PSC requesting their permission to recruit the aggrieved staff. The PSC gave clearance after which he wrote to the Finance and Education Ministries all of which were notified and clearance letters granted.

Justifying why Ȼ100,000 had to be paid to a recruitment agency to hire the workers, Dr Whyte said there was no permanent HR at the Secretariat and because the recruitment of the workers was in the interest of the public service, Zormelo and Associates was engaged to recruit on behalf of the Secretariat.

He said out of the three agencies who threw in their bids for the job of recruiting the staff, Zormelo and Associates provided the most detailed and cost effective bid.

He also questioned the decision by PSC to ask them to hold on following the petition submitted by an employee of the secretariat.

Dr Kpessah Whyte said the dismissal of the workers was illegal and the affected persons must go to court to enforce their right to be employed.

 

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