Accra High Court orders University of Ghana to pay ex-gratia to 195 retirees

The Accra High Court has ordered the authorities of the University of Ghana, Legon, to the pay the differences on the ex-gratia it paid to 195 former employees who retired from the institution between 2010 and 2011.

The court said the employees, who had served the school for more than 10 years, should be paid the difference on the ex-gratia with one month salary for every successful year of service on retirement.

It said payment and interest accruing should be based on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) starting from September 2011, when the university was supposed to have paid the ex-gratia.

The court, however, refused payment of the same benefits to 10 other retirees, since they had served for less than a decade.

The court, presided over by Mrs Justice Laurenda Owusu, also awarded GH¢10,000 cost against the university.

Background

The 205 plaintiffs said they had served the university in various capacities for over a decade and retired from active service between 2010 and 2011.

They claimed that they were migrated to the SSSS policy in January, 2010, but the commencement of the said salary policy at the university took off from September, 2011.

They said the university authorities deemed it fit and paid them salary arrears with the explanation that they should have been given a higher salary effective January, 2010 but was unable to do so due to the delay in the implementation of the SSSS policy.

However, they said the salary arrears were paid to them when they had retired from active service.

Mere assurances

They claimed that they had then received their ex gratia based on the old salary before the salary arrears were paid to them by the defendant.

“Calculation on the ex gratia awards paid to us should have been based on our salary in January, 2010 upon which the defendant paid the salary arrears to us.

“Upon several correspondences and meetings with the defendant since the implementation of the SSSS policy, we have not received any positive response from the university but rather mere assurances,” they stated.

According to them, the value of the arrears on their ex gratia was diminishing each day as a result of the failure of the defendant to pay the arrears due them.

“We have engaged the services of solicitors to prosecute the case on our behalf and they have charged each of us 10 per cent of any arrears that may be paid to us which payment shall definitely affect our net income.

“Besides, our social security contributions were also deducted by the university from our salaries on the arrears paid to us, but were not paid to the Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) to be used in calculating our pensions and as a result SSNIT used our old salaries in calculating our pensions,” they stated.

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