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July 6, 2017

The government is likely to declare a new national minimum wage for workers next week as the National Tripartite Committee is set to conclude negotiations for the new wage base.

The National Tripartite Committee, composed of the government represented by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and Trades Union Congress (TUC), is hoping to conclude the negotiations at its next meeting on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

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Currently, the GEA and TUC are studying reviewed proposals put forward by each side at the last meeting on June 28, 2017 so as to reach an agreement.

Although the details of the proposals have not been disclosed, sources close to the Committee indicated to ADR Daily that the negotiations point to a significant increase from the current  GH¢ 8.80 minimum wage which was announced in October last year.

Mr Elvis Selase Azangodo, Assistant Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry confirmed the expectation of Tuesday’s meeting to ADR Daily in Accra today.

“The Committee is hoping for a possible conclusion on Tuesday. If not the negotiation would have to be adjourned,” he said.

According to him, both sides are “cooperating,” saying that offers optimism for an early conclusion of negotiations for the 2018 minimum wage.

If the Committee can determine the minimum wage this month, it would be the first time the negotiation has been concluded that early, he said, explaining that over the years the negotiations have ended beyond August. The Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) requires that the minimum wage is determined by end of April.

Sources at the meeting indicate that the employers’ side is asking labour to scale down its proposed percent increase to enable employers to pay.

The source says that the employers are using concerns about the high cost of operation and low productivity levels to justify their request for a much lower increase, while organised labour maintains that a higher increase is required to cushion workers against the increasing cost of living in the country.

A recent survey by MoveHub, a company which assesses countries across the world to offer advice to expatriates on where to stay, ranked Ghana as the most expensive country to reside in on the continent.

MoveHub’s ranking was based on calculations of the price of groceries, transport, bills, restaurants and renting a house in selected countries across the globe.

Ghana wascplaced in the top 20, being the only African country to make the most expensive countries to live in global list.

Ghana’s small population and high GDP drives up the cost of living, MoveHub noted, plus her peaceful tag makes her a favourite for expatriates coming to Africa, which also drives up costs as well.

Ghana, Italy, Israel, Kuwait and Japan make the bottom five of the top 20 list – while Singapore, Iceland, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Bermuda topped the most expensive places to live in list.

By: Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com