The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has stated that the inability of stakeholders to manage workers’ expectations of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) has overshadowed the gains made by the government and its social partners on the labour front.
[contextly_sidebar id=”0ttinU1dqZ1zVSlIC8uuzo0kx5SFYQeX”]It said organised labour had good expectations of the SSPP but could not foresee some of the challenges confronting the implementation of the policy.
The General Secretary of the TUC, Mr Kofi Asamoah, made the observation at the opening session of a two-day forum on the SSPP held in Takoradi yesterday. It was on the theme, “Sustaining the Single Spine Pay Policy”.
Mr Asamoah, however, conceded that some progress had been made but had been deflated by some social and economic challenges arising out of cost of living, high income tax and inflation, among others.
He said since the initial gains of the SSPP had been eroded, many workers had been compelled to survive on personal loans with high interest on them, a situation which was not the best.
Mr Asamoah said organised labour acknowledged the implementation challenges of the SSPP, including the astronomical increase in the wage bill, nonetheless it was time the pay system was managed well to address the complaints of workers.
Other issues which were still outstanding, Mr Asamoah said, were the full implementation of the market premium, categories two and three allowances, the frozen annual increments since the implementation of the SSPP and post-migration issues.
The President of the Ghana Employers Association (GEA), Mr Terrence Darko, said in spite of the many challenges faced by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), the implementation of the first phase of the pay policy had been largely successful.
“This in my view was due to the commitment of organised labour and government’s resolve to use dialogue and negotiations to resolve all issues of mutual concern to all parties,” he said.
As a way forward, Mr Darko said there was the need to deepen consultations, negotiations and dialogue in all pay policy-related issues.
To ensure the sustainability of the SSPP, Mr Darko stressed the need for the economic environment to be stabilised.
He said the power problem also needed to be tackled resolutely, adding that “if businesses do not attain the required power to remain productive, they would not be able to pay enough taxes to enhance national revenue”.
“The net effect of this is that government cannot get the needed funds to pay the workers compensation and follow through other development projects,” he pointed out.
Mr Darko said much as the GEA appreciated that the government was taking measures to address the energy crisis, there was the need for urgent measures, as a matter of national priority, to make power available to businesses to operate.
Source: Graphic Online