In what looks like an upheaval against modem-day slavery being presided over by the lawmaking body, Research Assistants to Ghana’s 275 Members of Parliament (MPs), have scheduled a demonstration within the enclave of the legislature over their 11-month salary arrears.
In a notice of demonstration letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, the research assistants said: “We humbly refer to the above subject matter and we humbly wish to inform you of a planned demonstration scheduled for the 20th day of June at the forecourt of parliament, the precincts of parliament and the environs of parliament by research assistants to honourable members of parliament”.
The notice, jointly signed by Mr Rauf Adam, Mr Issifu Seidu Kudus, Mr Amenyo K. Akoto, Mr Mark Agyapong and Mr Ernest Akrofi Obeng, said: “Very respectfully, this action has become necessary, because we have exploited every diplomatic avenue at our disposal to get our monthly salaries, but all attempts have proven futile”.
The research assistants said: “Many of us have not been paid salaries very close to one year (eleven months) now and this situation is rather worrying and appalling considering the fact that many of us are really working hard to assist our honourable members to deliver on their mandate as members of parliament so as to improve parliamentary democracy.
“Respectfully again, we are not entitled to any allowance, emoluments or any other fringe benefits as research assistants. We are only entitled to our monthly salaries and we have to convey ourselves to work without any transport allowance as compared to other staff working in parliament. We only rely on our salaries for all our basic needs and this very issue of non-payment of research assistants’ salaries is really crippling us.
“Without prejudice to any authority in parliament, we do not intend to obstruct the important business the house may carry on the said date as the demonstration will be a peaceful one so as to get our voices heard as we cannot continue to suffer in silence”.