In a move to efficiently address the inadequacies in Ghana’s national pay system, the government today inaugurated a committee to comprehensively review the current salary structures and fashion out the way forward.
The setting up of the Advisory Group for the Review of Pay Systems comes in the wake of increasing concerns about the high public wage bill which consumes over 60 percent of government’s revenue.
It also follows concerns about the weak linkage between productivity and pay as pay is not commensurate with work, especially in the public sector.
The work of the Advisory Group, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, 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.
According to the Minister, the government would examine the advice of the committee should the scrapping of the SSSS being implemented under the Single Spine Pay Policy, become part of its recommendations, and consider best available options.
The eleven (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 their subject areas.
According to Mr Baffour-Awuah, the proposal for the setting of the committee was made by the National Tripartite Committee which was worried about the high wage bill, low productivity levels and increasing demands for a salary increase and the inability for employers to pay.
He believed the work of the committee would help to build on works of similar committees and find solutions to emerging challenges in the labour sector.
The members of the Advisory Group are Abena Osei-Asare, Deputy Minister of Finance; Dr Alhassan Iddrisu, Ministry of Finance; Mrs Eva Addo, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and Rev. Brenda Osei-Kofi, Ghana Statistical Service, all representing the government side.
Organised Labour is represented by Dr Kwabena Otoo, Trades Union Congress; Mr J.N.O. Ankrah, Civil & Local Government Staff Association of Ghana, Mr K. Ahenekwa-Quarshie, Ghana National Association of Teachers; and Mr Kenneth Koomson, Ghana Federation of Labour.
Others are Dr Benjamin Amoah representing the Bank of Ghana, and Dr William Baah Boateng from the University of Ghana.
The Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is one of the major components of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) introduced by the government of Ghana, with implementation starting in 2010, to regulate the payment of public service workers especially those under Article 190 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Notwithstanding the well-crafted nature and the objectives of the policy, its implementation has suffered challenges including high public expectations, dissatisfaction of the grading structure by some workers, inadequate financial and human resources facing the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), inadequate education, conditions of service and allowances of workers, and politicization.
This 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 SSSS.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com