Mr. Kofi Asamoah, secretary general of the Ghana trade Union Congress (GTUC) has asked government not to blame the current woes of the country’s economy on the single spine pay policy implementation.
He said, that notion being created with the SSPP is erroneous, and called on government to disaggregate the figures bare for all to see “who takes what”. “After all, the salaries are not free, they being paid for service rendered to the state” Mr. Asamoah said.
Mr. Asamoah who was speaking at Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) implementation review forum in Ho yesterday, noted that, issues of labour and wages are very sensitive, and called on stakeholders especially government and its communicators to stop the unnecessary vilification of the SSPP on the airwaves. “Labour relations in practice or theory are not done on radio, it is unfair labour practice”.
He also called on government to take steps to block the wastage in the public sector payroll and also close the difference between the wages of article 71 office holders and those under article 190.
Mr. asamoah, however said in spite of the migration challenges, the SSPP has offer government opportunity also harmonized the numerous pay structures that were in operation and to take charge of the public sector wage bill and scrapping it will be very chaotic.
“There is no viable alternative to the single spine pay policy, reversing it will be a chaotic alternative” he emphasized.
Opening the two day forum on the theme “Building National Consensus for sustainability of the Single Spine Salary Policy” President John Mahama said the difficulties being experienced with the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) was the absence of a well thought out plan to implement the scheme within budgetary constraints. “In my estimation, the one major missing factor that was not carefully thought out and considered was the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) within budgetary constraints to make the scheme sustainable.”
He also said the misconception that the SSPP is meant for a general increase in the wages of all workers is also a contributing factor to the challenges being experienced but He however assured workers that the SSPP will not be scraped.
“We have come far and opting out of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) or cancelling the programme, is not an option for government.” He said.
The president therefore charged the stakeholders at the forum, “to engage in a frank, non-partisan discussion to generate options and feasible strategies and build consensus on critical issues within the broader context of our national quest for accelerated economic development.”
In a presentation on wages and fiscal slippage, the finance minister, Mr, Seth Terkper said the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) is not sustainable going forward because the country’s wage bill could exceed the total revenue if steps are not taken to address the situation.
The minister said Governmentspent GH¢ 4.3 billion on wages and salaries alone for the first half of this year, representing 70.1% of total national revenue. A figure he said is higher than the one recorded during the same period last year.
“The key point here is that to just use the non-earmarked funds [the country is] using everything to pay wages, we still have some arrears which are pending…this is the reality”, said Mr Terkper.
The two day forum is under the auspices of the ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and outcomes of the forum will be implemented by a committee constituted by the ministry.
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