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03.03.2007 General News

Halt the widening wage disparities - TUC cautions Government

By : GNA

The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has cautioned the government to halt the emerging trend of "huge wage inequality" in the public sector in favour of top public servants.

"The huge pay gap in the public sector in favour of a few individuals is unfair by any standard and should be reviewed", the January issue of the "Ghana Trades Union Congress Policy Bulletin" has said.

The bulletin, a quarterly, said considering the recent upward adjustment of salaries of some top public servants, the highest paid person in the public sector is earning close to 500 million cedis per annum whereas the lowest paid public sector worker is earning a little over five million cedis per annum.

"This translates into a maximum/minimum salary ratio of about 100 to one."

In the TUC's estimation, it would take the lowest paid worker 100 years of work to earn the money earned by the highest paid public servant in one year.

The bulletin said public sector wages must reflect teamwork and that reform policies in the sector must encourage team approach rather than "the discredited theory of marginal productivity-based pay determination founded on the ideology of individualism".

"If this growing income gap is allowed to widen further we risk deepening segregation in society with a few people benefiting disproportionately from the collectively-earned national income".

It said a peaceful society cannot be built on such a huge income gap and that the government ought to be aware that as the largest employer its wage policies have significant spill over effects on the entire labour market.

"The least we expected of government is for it to provide leadership in the labour market that fosters fairness", the bulletin said.

The bulletin said the TUC had already expressed its dissatisfaction to government regarding its unilateral approach to public sector pay issues.

On the issue of a living wage, the GTUC sounded sceptical about government's commitment towards its determination.

"It is only when the majority of the public servants receive reasonable levels of pay that can be described as 'living wage' that we can realistically expect improvements in productivity required for accelerated growth and development".

Source: GNA