Authorities of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital have justified the 10% deductions from salaries of employees living in the health facility’s accommodation unit.
On Wednesday, some employees of the hospital gave their management up till November 2 to halt the 10% deduction.
However, authorities of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital stated that the deductions made are for the renovation of the unit.
“The attention of the Hospital Administration has been drawn to a call by a section of staff for rent being deducted for residing in hospital residential accommodation to be stopped. This demand is against the long-standing government policy that requires that any worker who lives in government accommodation pays 10% of his or her salary as rent.”
“This policy has always been maintained and implemented by the Hospital. However, staff movement and transfers have created lapses in the system that enabled some staff to escape the payment of rent as required by law,” a statement from Korle Bu said.
Concerned residents and staff of the hospital had said the deductions which started in June 2020 do not commensurate with the housing units they reside in.
Addressing the media, the Chairman for the concerned residents and staff of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Benjamin Ampah stated that the charges must be reviewed as soon as possible.
He expressed concerns that the deduction was not a fair treatment and tabled their demands to the management of the hospital.
“This is highly unfair. These are our demands on management. To stop the deduction immediately. With this, we give them up to November 2, 2020, to refund all rent monies from July to October 2020 to our members before November 14, 2020.”
He stated that a better evaluation is needed to be done to ensure that they are not overcharged.
He added that the management should look into better structure and allocation of rooms in the accommodation so that everyone is assigned a room.
Below is the full response from the management of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital:
The attention of the Hospital Administration has been drawn to a call by a section of staff for rent being deducted for residing in hospital residential accommodation to be stopped. This demand is against the long-standing government policy that requires that any worker who lives in government accommodation pays 10% of his or her salary as rent.
This policy has always been maintained and implemented by the Hospital. However, staff movement and transfers have created lapses in the system that enabled some staff to escape the payment of rent as required by law.
This non-payment of rent became a subject of audit query. It compelled Management to conduct an inventory into its estate resources. Through this exercise, it became palpably clear that many of these accommodation units had fallen into the state of disrepair and required urgent renovation and maintenance.
In view of the huge quantum of resources required for the rehabilitation, Management applied and secured approval to channel the rent deducted from occupants of our housing units into the rehabilitation of the rundown housing stock.
While some occupants were in default of rent payment for more than five years, the rent deduction which was now being implemented in accordance with the accommodation policy did not take retroactive effect. In fact, an amnesty was granted to all such defaulters.
In preparation for the planned rehabilitation of the rundown accommodation units, a schedule was drawn to renovate all the accommodation units in phases.
While a lot of staff were excited about the planned renovation, a handful of rent defaulters raised objections against the deductions. They subsequently petitioned for the rent deductions to be stopped.
It must be pointed out that the authority to stop the deduction does not lie within the mandate of the Hospital Administration but an understanding was reached and Management decided to refund the deductions and about four batches of the affected staff have already received their refunds.
In conclusion, the Hospital Administration wishes to urge all staff to exercise maximum restraint and be confident that the Hospital Administration will only take decisions that will inure to the benefit of its cherished staff. Management runs an open door policy and any staff who feels aggrieved can is encouraged contact and engage Management to address any issues that border them.
HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2020