President John Mahama

President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday directed the Ministries of Finance and Employment and Labour Relations to negotiate with the national tripartite committee for wages and salaries before the presentation of the national budget.

He appealed to all stakeholders at a national forum on the single spine pay policy to also discuss the issues dispassionately and objectively for Ghana to become an icon in the implementation of the policy on the continent.

?I want to appeal to all of you here to discuss the policy with frankness with non-partisan ideas that will eliminate agitations in the pay policy and spell out the best for the country.?

President Mahama stated this when he addressed a forum on the sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) organized by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations at Ho.

The programme attracted hundreds of participants made up of security services, political parties, Labour Unions and Associations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Judiciary and Legislature and Civil Society Organizations.

The Forum would also give the public the opportunity to understand the implications of the implementation of the SSPP on the economy, the overview of the policy, key components, basic implementation requirements and challenges so far.

He said salaries and wages alone took over 70 percent of the national revenue and it was therefore important to engage all stakeholders before the presentation of the national budget.

President Mahama who also tasked the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to undertake a market sector survey that would provide adequate inputs for the preparations of subsequent national budgets said all the measures were geared towards streamlining the discrepancies that resulted from the SSPP implementation.

The President admitted that there were some challenges in the implementation of the pay policy  and said Government would continue to engage stakeholders and other social partners to improve on the policy.

President Mahama said the Ministry of Employment would also establish the Public Service Productivity Committee that would recommend to government the parameters of ?equal work for equal pay? in future.

He challenged the Minister of Finance to let the forum know all government expenditures to provide the actual picture to  participants to offer useful recommendations.

Nii Armah Ashitey, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations expressed government?s commitment to ensure  the successful  implementation of the SSPP as Ghana had become the reference point over the months in terms of equity in pay policy.

He said the forum would offer the opportunity to review the policy and upgrade issues that had mitigated against the implementation over the years.

Nii Ashitey said the forum would also afford the chance to strengthen relations between government and the labour front and other stakeholders in the labour sector.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress said the SSPP offered government the opportunity to deal with members of the salary negotiations since they now had a body to carry out the negotiation.

He said the implementation would also offer government the chance to re-establish control of the labour activities.

The Secretary General appealed to government to bridge the disparities in the implementation that had over the years incurred the displeasure of many workers across the country.

He challenged the Ministry of Finance to provide realistic placements that would help reduce agitations in the industrial front.

Mr Asamoah appealed to government to address issues of corruption and wage fraud that were impacting negatively on the country?s economy.

He said the pay disparities that existed among the 190 group of workers and all those classified under Article 71 of the constitution needed concerted efforts to be bridged for the better.

?I would want to reiterate our position that there is no viable alternative to the single spine pay policy and reversing single spine certainly not an option, and if it is, it?s a chaotic one,? the Secretary General said.

Source: GNA

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