The work of the committee tasked to review Ghana’s public pay system is progressing, albeit behind schedule.
The National Pay Review Advisory Group, which was set up by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in October last year, has planned to visit Ireland, touted as a country with one of the best pay regimes.
Although the Group has planned to conduct wide external consultation in some countries to aid Ghana’s public pay structure reforms, the lack of resources is said to be hindering the work of the committee.
Mr Sammy-Longman Attakumah, Chief Director of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, told ADR Daily in Accra that although the committee has undertaken some internal consultations and analysis of the country’s pay structure, it has become vital to learn from other jurisdictions whose structures are deemed to be more effective and productive.
Although the work of the committee has delayed and is unlikely to meet the three-month deadline which expires at the end of this month, the Chief Director indicated that “the work plan is on course.”
He said because the group was depending on the Ministry’s budgetary allocation, it had become challenging to undertake all the planned consultations including travelling to other countries.
According to him, the team was currently working with the “Plan A” amidst the resource challenges and would resort to a “Plan B” if there is no improvement in the availability of resources, mainly logistics and funds to enable the team conduct extensive consultations.
The Plan B, he explained involved reducing the size of the team that would have to travel around the country and abroad, or cutting the number of planned visits and consultations.
“This is a terrain we are navigating,” he said.
Mr Attakumah indicated that the committee which consists of representatives from government, employers and organised labour, as well as co-opted experts, would travel to Ireland in the third quarter of March before concluding its work.
The committee has sat a couple of times, and has had intensive discussions with a number of the stakeholder groups,” he said.
Chaired by Bright Wireko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the committee, which was inaugurated on October 31, 2017, was given three months to work and submit its report.
It was set up in a move to efficiently address the inadequacies in Ghana’s national pay system by comprehensively reviewing the current salary structures and fashion out the way forward. It followed increasing concerns about the high public wage bill which consumes over 60 percent of government’s revenue.
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 work of the Advisory Group could lead to the scrapping of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), whose continuous implementation has become a challenge for the government mainly because of the non-corresponding productivity to pay increase.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com