Ghana: Organised Labour Groans Over Low Public Sector Salaries

TUC Secretary General, Dr Yaw Baah

Accra, Ghana//-Ghana’s Organised Labour is unhappy with low public sector salaries which they would receive from the Ghanaian government this year.

As discussions on public and private sector salaries currently on various social media platforms indicate that clearly that workers are understandably unhappy with the outcome of the wage negotiations.

The Organized Labour pointed out that they settled on the relatively low rates of increments reluctantly after intense negotiations spanning many meetings.

“As we all know, negotiations for the 2021 and 2022 National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) and Base Pay (for public service workers on the Single Spine Salary Structure) were concluded on 4th June, 2021 and 1st July, 2021 respectively”, the Secretary General of TUC, Dr Yaw Baah said.

He added that after weeks of intense negotiations, the national minimum wage was increased by 6% for 2021 and 8% for 2022. The Base Pay (BP) for public sector workers was increased by 4% for 2021 and 7% for 2022.

Negotiating with government to accept the following conditions in addition to the 4% increment for 2021 and 7% for 2022, he said Organized Labour during the agreement period (2021-2022) government shall not declare any public sector worker redundant. In other words, all the over 700,000 public sector workers will keep their jobs no matter the state of the economy and government finances”.

He said government will not freeze employment in the public service meaning that government will continue to employ workers into the public service and that all workers will be vaccinated against Covid-19 during the agreement period (2021-2022) adding, government will pay social security contributions (with special reference to the second-tier contributions) regularly.

On salary categories, Organised Labour said the current system of remuneration in the public sector favours some categories of office holders in the public service.

To this, the organised labour urgently called on the President Nana Addo Dankwa  Akufo-Addo to initiate steps and process towards the establishment of a Commission to address this inequalities.

They are also appealing to workers across the country to take into account the circumstances within which salaries are negotiated with government and explained that the outcome have not yielded the desired results but could have been worse in relations to the economic challenges and the stance of government toward pay rise particularly in the year 2021.

According to the group, the Commission must be made up of experts who have the technical knowhow from all working endeavours to advise government on public sector salaries for all jobholders in the entire public service to ensure fairness.

Addressing a news conference on the minimum wage and base pay negotiations in Accra, the Secretary General of TUC, Dr Yaw Baah urged Organised Labour to join hands in the fight for fairness in the remuneration system in the public service and called on all union leaders to promote and protect the interest of workers.

The event was held under the auspices of Organised Labour operating in both public and private sectors and included the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all its 21 affiliated nation unions.

“As trade union leaders our job is to enhance industrial relations with our social partners based on trust and mutual respect that transcend time and political regimes”, he said.

By Ben Laryea, African Eye Report