Constituent policy

Labor Conference recommends review of single pay policy to address wage disparities

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Delegates at the end of the first National Labor Conference recommended revising the single pay policy to address disparities and inequalities in public sector wages.

To facilitate this, they proposed the establishment of a technical committee, by the end of March 2022, to undertake the preliminary review of the policy and its financial implications, after more than 10 years of implementation.

This was in a communiqué, adopted at the end of the Conference, organized by the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations and its tripartite partners, in Kwahu-Nkwatia in the Eastern Region.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, closed the two-day conference, chaired by the Kwahuhene, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II.

The communiqué, presented by Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment, recommended that the policy review be aligned with the next national budget cycle.

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the statement said, should be given resources to carry out its mandate effectively and empowered to develop a framework that would link the revised wage policy to productivity.

It was important, the statement said, to engender a commitment to productivity and therefore recommended the institution of an annual Labor Productivity Week.

He urged the training and retraining of workers and the respect of performance contracts in order to increase productivity.

The conference, themed “Strengthening Tripartism for Peaceful Labor Relations and a Resilient Economy”, aimed to adopt a roadmap and communiqué that would inform and shape the government’s approach to addressing labor issues for national development.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented a technical paper on “The State of the Economy”, after which he encouraged stakeholders to take into account the economic realities of the times and adopt the Irish model of joint commitment to rebuilding the economy for creating decent jobs for young people and achieving decent wages for the benefit of all.

Deliberations therefore focused on the state of the economy, the conditions of service of public sector workers, public sector wages, labor productivity, the prevention and resolution of labor disputes and sustainable pensions for all. .

Delegates agreed that in responding to workers’ demands, the stability of the microeconomy should not be compromised.

They called for speeding up work on setting up a national unemployment insurance scheme.

They also encouraged the government to take steps to eliminate waste in public sector spending, complete existing projects and close any loopholes by applying sanctions in the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act.

Regarding pensions, the delegates insisted that they should be given priority within the framework of working conditions.

A national debate on pensions should therefore be launched to, among other things, consider revising pensionable income to include allowances and non-monetary benefits.

This would ensure that workers are not worse off in retirement, but enjoy a quality life.

Delegates also called for the urgent resolution of issues related to the transfer of temporary pension funds to second-tier schemes to ensure beneficiaries receive their full entitlements.

On the prevention of labor disputes, they called for healthy dialogue, regular exchange of information and communication, and mutual respect between conflicting parties.

The National Labor Commission should also be given resources to quickly resolve disputes across the country.

Leaders of trade unions and employers’ organizations expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the conference and expressed the hope that tripartism would flourish for a sustainable peaceful and productive industrial environment.

They congratulated the President, who opened the conference, for accepting a proposal to institutionalize the conference as an annual event.

More than 100 representatives of enterprises and state institutions and tripartite constituents participated in the conference.

Source: GNA

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