Business News of Saturday, 16 March 2013
Source: Graphic Business
Public sector workers in the country are currently earning far more than their counterparts in the private sector, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has said.
In its 2011 annual report, entitled "Retirement", SSNIT stated that "the annual monthly average salary of contributors as of December 2011 was GH¢496.78 and employees of public establishments registered the highest average monthly salary of GH¢688.21. The average of private establishments was GH¢412.80 in 2011”.
The SSNIT report provides an indication of increases in public sector salaries since the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) began in 2010.
Per the report, the scales have changed and the private sector, which had for a long time been a lucrative employment avenue for skilled job seekers, will now have to compete with the public sector for critical skills.
With the 2013 Budget emphasising efforts by the government at harnessing the potential of the private sector in the country's economic growth, the development may mean further initiatives in the sector for the requisite job skills to maintain the productivity and effectiveness of that sector. The development also challenges public sector workers to be productive to justify the salaries being earned currently.
Commenting on the SNNIT report, the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Mr George Smith-Graham, said with the report, no excuse could be made for a non-productive public sector.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the Gamey and Gamey Academy of Mediation (GGAM), Mr Austin Gamey, has said the Labour Act provides answers for issues of public sector productivity that the country is grappling with. "The productivity of workers is recognised and provided for in the Labour Law 2003 (Act 651),” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, he acknowledged as valid the comments made by President John Mahama for workers to increase productivity and the commitment by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to be productive and the need for the government to provide the necessary tools to help in that endeavour.
He said productivity in the country had to be seen through the Labour Law. "We have to brand the whole debate on productivity in the law, and productivity has to be measured. Anything that cannot be measured is not worth spending money on," he told the Daily Graphic.
Quoting sections 8, 9 and 59 of the Labour Act, he explained that it was the responsibility of employers to set achievable targets for each worker.
When the targets were set, it was the responsibility of the employer to provide all that was needed, including the development of the skills of the worker, to enable him or her to perform as stipulated in Section 9 of the law, he affirmed.
He said when the employer had fulfilled that, it was the duty of workers not only to work conscientiously but also enhance their work output, while obeying lawful instructions.
Mr Gamey said Section 58 of the Labour Act, Act 651, stipulated the matching of remuneration with productivity.
"There must be a robust, measurable, appraisal system that is transparent and eliminates the possibility of reprisal from line managers," he added.