More than 50 staff of NMTC-Zuarungu not paid April salaries; principal blamed amid protests

The college is located in the Bolgatanga East District. Inset: The principal of the school, Michael Yidana Mantamia.

There is disquiet at the Nursing and Midwifery Training College (NMTC) in Bolgatanga East, a district in Ghana’s Upper East region, over non-validation and non-payment of the April salaries of more than 50 members of the school’s staff.

At the centre of the blame for the anomaly is the school’s principal, Michael Yidana Mantamia, for reportedly failing to validate the salaries.

Some tutors of the Zuarungu-based public institution, who constitute a great number of the affected staff members, told Media Without Borders on Monday that the principal’s failure to validate their salaries was deliberate.

The college’s administration block.

“Our human resource manager validated our salaries. She did her part. But the principal did not do his part. We heard that he was going round last Friday saying people don’t come to work, they don’t respect and for that matter he would not validate them.

“If he indeed had any proof that some people did come to work, what he needed to do was to isolate such people and deal with them, not to refuse to validate an entire staff. We heard that when he was prompted on the validators’ platform that his staff had not been validated, he still said people don’t come to work,” said one of the tutors.

This is the first time staff have suffered nonpayment of salaries since the school started in 2006, according to the school’s authorities.

As the protest grew from Monday into the last day of April, the principal met with the angry staff on the morning of Tuesday (today). He told them at the meeting that the failure was due to an internet challenge. But the boiling staff disagreed.

“He is claiming that he tried to validate us but it did not go through because of poor internet connectivity. That’s a lie. If you validate and it does not go through, they will prompt you immediately and you need to try again. The others were able to validate, including the human resource manager, except you. That’s a lie.

“And even if he actually tried to validate us and the process did not go through, he ought to tell his co-staff before now. He did not have the courtesy to tell us about it. He never told us anything until we heard it elsewhere that our salaries had not been validated for April,” another tutor exploded with rage.

A source at the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department told Media Without Borders that a few among the school’s teaching staff, who were transferred recently to the college, were not affected by the non-validation debacle.

Headquarters of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department, Accra.

This, according to the source, is so because their salaries are still being validated at their former workplaces pending their migration into the validation scheme of their current workplace.

“We can’t continue to allow one person to bully all of us around. A stop must come to it. He has bullied some of the staff out of the school. He bullied Bernard Adugbire out of the school to Damongo.

“The same person bullied Wilfred Kwose to Yendi. When he is angry, our marking allowance and clinical supervision allowance suffer. He doesn’t pay these allowances when he is not happy,” another member of the college’s staff told this media outfit on Tuesday.

Principal reacts to staff protests

When Media Without Borders contacted the principal Tuesday evening, he said he was unable to validate the salaries because there was no internet service within his office space.

The nonpayment crisis coincided with reopening of basic schools nationwide.

“It’s true that we have internet problems. Unfortunately, the validation could not be done. I gathered them (the aggrieved staff) this morning and said I was sorry about what had happened. As I speak to you now, all efforts have been made for their April salaries to be paid at the end of May. We have sent a letter to the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department.

“If not because some people just want to give me a problem, why should they (the staff) be talking to a media house about this matter? I have explained to them that the internet is not working; I don’t have internet in my office. I take the blame and I apologise,” he said.

When asked for his comment on the allegation that he deliberately did not approve the salary payments as a penalty against the staff for reportedly being disrespectful to him and work-shy, he described the claim as fabricated.

The school’s principal, Michael Yidana Mantamia.

“These are just lies,” he said. “It’s not true that I said I would not validate. I didn’t say that. If somebody is not coming to work, are we supposed to validate them? I didn’t say that, anyway.”

While refuting the claims that he “bullied” some tutors out of the school, he also described as untrue the accusation that he only paid the staff’s clinical supervision and marking allowances only when he was happy.

The college’s kitchen staff and cleaners are among the affected employees.

“I’m not in charge of that. That’s the Ministry of Health doing their work. This issue (transfer of some staff) happened about five or six years ago. Why are they bringing it up now? You can see what is in their minds? They just want to destroy the good work I’m doing.

“It is also not true that their allowances are paid only when I am happy. Do a proper comparison among the nursing and midwifery schools in the region and see who is actually paying its allowances early. We pay earlier than our peers,” the principal stated.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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