Service: Redefining It to Suit the Politician


How many times have we not heard some politician fret over the justification over why they should be paid what they are paid, and receive the sort of outrageous end of service benefits that they get? The sort of service to the nation mantra that I grew up reading about in textbooks in JSS and SSS told me that our forebears forewent the luxuries of their time so Ghana would be better. Some suffered imprisonment several times and practically lived for the red, gold, green of our land.

Certainly not today!

A journalist friend had asked that I share my views with him on how we should deal with labour unrest in this country. The first thought that flashed through my mind was ‘folks who strike plausibly do so because they see others who do almost nothing and deserve not what they give themselves are refusing to be fair to them so as long as that unfair situation remains, we should see loads of labour unrest’.

Seriously what is that our MPs for example do that their ESBS after four years is a thousand fold what our doctors and teachers receive after 15, 20, 30 years of dedicated service to the motherland? Something is certainly not right here. Having said that however, I think we can stop Ghana’s labour unrest by cutting out the numerous talk shops, unnecessary propaganda, using the media to solve issues meant for the boardroom and politicians learning that the gibberish they spew as opposition always come back to hound them in power.

For some reason all our politicians seem to think of is to let the government in power look terrible whiles shouting with solutions they know cannot fly. So when the button changes hands they are found wanting and it then becomes hard to convince anyone why certain things they said could work before cannot work now.

I am of the view that many, if not all, of the many problems we face in different facets of our national life have solutions long recognized. We just refuse to heed to our own advice and instead behave like ostriches when it suits us.

I have not read the documents that set up the SPSS and so can’t speak to the many deficiencies which have sprung up, however if it requires a review, I suggest we should do it. We should as a people also find a way to ensure that our professionals receive realistic wages for work done.

If I were a teacher or a nurse and I know just how important my job is to my society and yet I get paid a pittance with a high probability of retiring as a pauper, I will be upset to see MPs and politicians pocket huge sums of cash for ‘serving’ the nation. Politicians do not serve us any longer, we serve them, and on top of it pay them astronomical and unrealistic salaries, bonuses, with pecks as though we were some rich state in the West.

I have a few doctor friends and none of them works less than 12 hours a day. Most of them rarely find time to even sit for a drink. Even when they are officially on strike, they always attend to patients so long as they see them. Doctors are rarely able to walk away when they see patients hurting and needing relief. It is thus irritating when political blinded idiots take it out on them for demanding what is rightly due them. If I were a doctor and I knew just the sort of things politicians get for doing almost no work, I am sure I will not be a happy man. We talk about those who leave Ghana for greener pastures. But, why not? When their governments are not been helpful. Mind you, they were humans before becoming doctors!

Those who serve Ghana and rightfully deserve better wages are the teachers, doctors, nurses. Let’s treat them like the heroes and heroines they are and our labour scene will see some genuine peace!

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