The director of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Labor and Research Institute, Dr Kwabena Otoo, has called for a review of the laws that govern the wages and conditions of service of public sector workers in the country.
According to him, the current regime allows for inequities in the payment of wages, leading to unrest among public sector workers.
“You can console yourself that your salary is okay until you see the other person’s salary. So sometimes the turmoil is about what other people are getting. And unfortunately those who are calling for wage bill moderation are the ones who earn the most. It becomes difficult for those struggling with 500 and 600 to accept a call for restraint,” he said on JoyNews‘ Newsfile Saturday.
Dr Otoo noted that in 2019 Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta admitted that public sector workers who are paid under the single wage structure, receive a low wage and are assured of recourse to close the gap. However, this promise remained empty.
According to him, the situation has worsened considerably.
“In 2021, when those on one spine had a 4% pay rise, some public companies got 35%, and for us, that’s not right. It is unfair. It widens the gap even more,” he said.
“Now when you do that comparison people say to you ‘oh, if you’re talking about the managing director of Goil or a commercial bank, you want to tie their salary to what the private sector gives’. Okay, so this is the case, they must also give us the result that the private sector gives.
“But we have a situation where collectively they are making losses, huge margins, their losses have increased by 200%. You cannot justify this. And those losses will eventually be recouped by the state,” he added.
To close the gap, Dr Otoo suggested that laws governing compensation should be reviewed to ensure that some people are not paid disproportionately more than others.
“It’s important that we bridge that gap, and to do that, one of the things we need to do is look carefully at the pay and terms of service laws relating to the public sector because there are different laws.
“We need to harmonize pay, we need to reduce inequalities, but we need to do this by also revising the laws on pay in the public sector,” he stressed.