Organised Labour says the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) has not been made to achieve its objective of synchronizing the national pay systems due to the various exemptions to the Structure.
Also, it believes it is unfair to blame the SSSS for the high public sector wage bill, when Article 71 officer holders and the Ghana Armed Forces who are exempted from the SSSS, contribute a chunk of the wage bill.
Even before the national Advisory Group tasked to Review the nation’s Pay Systems begins its work, the Civil & Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) is advocating what it describes as a “multiple” spine salary structure to address the inadequacies of the SSSS.
“May be we need a multiple spine to ensure fairness in the system,” said Mr John N.O Ankrah, CLOGSAG’s Director of Research and Budget, at the inauguration of the Advisory Group on Tuesday in Accra.
Mr. Ankrah, who is one of the four representatives of Organised Labour on the Advisory Group, speaking on behalf of Organised labour, believes it would be prudent for the Group to review the pay system for Article 71 Public Office holders, as well as all the institutions exempted from the Single Spine Pay Policy to allow fairness in Ghana’s pay system.
According to him, the SSSS has been unfair to a section of the public sector workers, and therefore, requires its comprehensive review.
“The issue of exemptions should be critically looked into,” he stressed.
Responding, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, who inaugurated the 11 member committee, gave the assurance that the work of the Advisory Group was to examine and review all public and private sector pay systems, indicating that all those exempted from the SSSS, under the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP), would equally be reviewed.
The ultimate goal of the SSPP, rolled out in 2010, is to ensure equity, fairness and transparency in Public Service Salary Administration as well as enhance performance and productivity. The specific objectives of the Pay Policy are to place all public sector employees on one vertical structure; ensure that jobs within the same job-value range are paid within the same pay range (i.e. “equal pay for work of equal worth”); all government to manage the wage bill more efficiently; ensure compliance and ease of monitoring the pay structures of self-accounting institutions; minimize industrial-relation tensions related to low pay and distortions across the Public Services; and link pay to productivity.
However, the implementation of the SSSS has generated a lot of conflicts among competing stakeholders including suspicions, disagreement and strike actions in the process, all of which have undermined the realization of the objectives of the salary system.
The 11 member committee, which is expected to have additional members from stakeholder institutions, consists of members from the government side, Organized Labour and Ghana Employers Association (GEA).
It is chaired by Bright Wireko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and the Group has three months to work and submit its report.
Among its terms of reference, the Group is mandated to examine and review the current pay systems for both the public and private sectors; examine and review the structure for productivity in the public sector; examine the sustainability of the current public pay system; examine and review the sustainability of the current pension scheme regime (Tier 1 and Tier 2); identify best pay models, and recommend best pay system and pension schemes for Ghana.
The committee is free to consult and co-opt individuals with relevant knowledge and expertise on the subject areas.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com