Organised Labour has rejected the government’s proposal for an 18% increment in the 2023 base pay of public sector workers.
At a negotiation meeting on Wednesday, Organised Labour maintained that it could not accept anything less than a 60% increment.
The leaders of the various labour unions and government representatives were invited by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to negotiate the 2023 base pay for public sector workers, following the failure of the first two meetings to agree on a percentage increment.
The government representatives said at the third meeting that the government was willing to pay 18% after the labour unions rejected the initial 15% and maintain their initial position of 60%.
However, the labour unions explained that the daily base pay is less than the 2023 daily minimum wage of GHC14.88 announced by the government.
Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said the 18% proposal would not be accepted, adding that labour would not back down on its initial demand.
“We’ve been considerate for years and many things have gone wrong, so I think that this is the time to right the wrongs. The Single Spine Salary Structure is the most indecent in this country and we think that this is the opportune time to right the wrongs. So, we have not been difficult…we are the same people that took the four and seven per cent and so we won’t take anything below 60%,” he added.
However, Mr Bright Wireko Brobby, the Deputy Employment Minister, said he was troubled by the course of events.
“We have met but labour insists on a figure, so we will go back and reconvene …We have tabled something and labour says that they are unwilling to take it. So, it is a clear state of frustration, of course, you do not expect me to be happy when there is this state of affairs,” he said.
In an interview after the closed-door meeting, Dr Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), indicated that organized labour had changed its initial demand from 60% to 65%.
“As you are aware, we have read the budget and there is an indication that there will be an increase in VAT of 2.5 so this is fresh information they have brought to that table. Because the budget has indicated certain issues in relation to VAT and the tax bracket to increase our burden,” he said.
Dzifa Hukporti, ISD