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Business News of Friday, 27 July 2018

Source: citibusinessnews.com

We’ll resist any attempt to reduce public sector wages—TUC


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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is warning that government must discard any idea of holding public sector wages stagnant even after the country exits the IMF programme by end of this year.

In addition, the union has cautioned that it will not consent to any move to reduce public sector wages in 2019.

The caution follows a statement made by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in the mid-year budget review that government will engage labour and other relevant civil society organizations on wages and salaries after the IMF programme.

The minister later reemphasized the position on Citi TV’s Point of View when he questioned if the nation can continue paying wages and salaries with almost half of its revenue.

But reacting to the issue, the Secretary General of the TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah cautioned that government’s position to reduce public sector wages after the IMF programme is not prudent.

“We have cautioned in the paper we issued to the minister that if they continue to push wages down as they have done through 2010, it is going to affect service delivery in the public service, it is going to affect productivity in the public service. We have to be very very cautious,” he stressed.

Dr. Baah argued that the index being adopted by government to reduce public sector wages—which is a ratio of tax revenue is not consistent with the standard of living of Ghanaians.

“What they are doing is to push public sector wage bill as a ratio of total tax revenue to 35%, and they are doing so because they are saying that in the West African sub-region that is the norm”.

He cautioned that the level of service delivery among the Ghanaian public service is higher compared to most of its member countries in the sub-region.

He maintained that any move to reduce wages for public servants because it burdens the public purse will be counter-productive.

“The money government is paying to public sector workers is not unemployment benefit, it is payment they make for services that are rendered by doctors, nurses, Teachers, Police Officers, Fire Service Officers and so on. So why would they want to treat public service workers the way they are treating it now”.

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