Business News of Saturday, 26 January 2013

Source: thebftonline

98% of public sector workers on SSSS

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has so far migrated about 98 percent of public sector workers onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

At the tail-end of 2012, the public was informed that the FWSC had migrated about 99 percent of all public sector workers onto the scheme.

However, Earl Ankrah, Head of Public Affairs of the Commission, told B&FT the reason why the figure keeps changing is that as they proceed more and more public sector agencies, which previously were not billed to be on the scheme, have been migrated onto it.

The FWSC should have rounded-off its migration activities by September last year but for the agitations of a number of unions like POTAG (Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana), Pharmacists and others in the course of migration.

However, the Commission is hopeful that by the end of the first quarter of this year it will have completed the migration process.

In a related development, graduate teachers have given government up to Friday, January 25 to resolve all outstanding issues relating to their grievances -- which include market premium for teachers as well as categories two and three allowances among other concerns.

In a swift rebuttal, the FWSC said the market premium is meant for what it describes as “critical skills in short supply” and that a document is at the Cabinet level awaiting executive approval and sanction, while categories two and three are not in the purview of the Commission.

The Commission made it clear that market premiums are not up for negotiation; it is purely left to the employer’s discretion.

The Commission made it clear that those category two and three allowances are in the domain of the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiations Committee, of which NAGRAT is a member. Hence, the Commission said it is at a loss as to why NAGRAT is laying the blame at the doorstep of the FWSC.

The FWSC is mandated to ensure fair, transparent and systematic implementation of government’s public service pay policy, and to establish principles for matching wage increases to productivity.