Gov't Swerves Workers
5/1/2012 3:01:20 PM -
Public sector workers who were expecting their salaries to increase by 18 percent this month would have to wait till the close of May 2012 to see their bank accounts bloom, says the Finance Ministry.
This latest twist in the payment schedule overturns an earlier agreement between organized Labour, Government and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
Government has blamed its inability to meet the April schedule on technical hitches from the Controller & Accountant General's Department (CAGD).
'Owing to the rather short time span between the completion of the 2012 Single Spine Salary negotiation and the minimum period required for the CAGD to input and process April 2012 salaries,' a statement released by the Ministry of Finance Wednesday said.
This announcement has sent reactions of displeasure through several labour groups in the country.
'We are not happy because people are expecting their money because that was the agreement that we signed with the government,' Angel Carbonu, Vice President of the Graduate Teachers Association (NAGRAT) told CITY &BUSINESS GUIDE .
Mr. Carbonu sees the rescheduling as a breach of the agreement that government signed with organized labour, adding, 'If you come and announce on radio that you cannot pay it, it is a breach of the agreement that we have signed.'
A source at the Payroll section of the CAGD told this paper under condition of anonymity that there was no justification for the complaints from workers since the arrears will definitely be paid in July.
According to the Finance Ministry, from May, 2012, workers would see their base pay increase by 18 percent, while the April salary arrears would be settled in July.
Negotiations for the new pay under the Single Spine Salary Structure were concluded in February after it began in September 2011. Under the negotiation, the tripartite stakeholders agreed to top up workers' salaries by 18 percent across board in April and a duly consented agreement document was signed to that effect.
The Single Spine Pay Policy was initiated by the Kuffour government in 2007 through the Ministry for Public Sector Reforms. When the current National Democratic Congress (NDC) government came to power in January 2009, they announced plans to proceed with the implementation plan towards the January 2010 deadline for the commencement of the Pay Policy.
The implementation was supposed to commence after the release of a Government White Paper on the Pay Policy.
The White paper was delayed several times, sparking several demonstrations and protests but a consensus was finally reached this year.
By Raphael Adeniran