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25.03.2008 General News

TUC applauds government efforts at reforms

By Accra Mail
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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said, though the union is not satisfied with the pace of reforms in the public sector, it appreciates government's effort in ensuring that workers got fair wages for
work of equal value.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Acting General Secretary of the TUC said, "I will like to mention the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment and the Ministry of Public Sector Reforms for their relentless effort towards the reform. We will continue to work with these ministries to achieve successful reforms", Mr Asamoah said.

Speaking at the Africa and Arab Regional Executive Committee (AFREC), of the Public Services International (PSI) meeting in Accra, Mr Asamoah expressed happiness that government had involved the TUC in the reforms rather than over-relying on external consultants who often did not have adequate knowledge of the challenges confronting the public sector.

He said what was needed was for the authorities in-charge of the implementation of the reforms to ensure that public servants involved in managing the reforms understood the elements and that resources were budgeted
to build commitment of all stakeholders to the reform through social dialogue.

AFREC is the executive arm of the affiliated unions of PSI in Africa and Arab Countries.

The two-day decision-making meeting, being attended by delegates from Botswana, South Africa, Tunisia, Togo, Ghana and the Arab countries would discuss issues of equality, equity and diversity, union development and international solidarity, winning workers rights and public sector workers.

Mr Asamoah also commended government for its effort towards job creation for the youth, adding that the Union was aware of the challenges facing the programme, particularly in regard to financing and expressed the confidence that with determination, the hurdles would be cleared.

On the PSI, the Acting Secretary-General appreciated the support the PSI had been giving to public sector unions in Ghana and in other regions by providing training in job evaluation and the determination of pay in the public sector, among other things.

"Your committee is here in Ghana once again to take important decisions that will guide the operation in the region in the coming weeks and months. I urge you to pay particular attention to the needs of PSI affiliates in the area of capacity building for salary ensure that public sector workers we represent are properly, adequately and fairly rewarded".

Nana Akomea, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment said without an efficient public services there would be no efficient private sector and that pay and compensation issues were the biggest motivation for workers, which government also attached great importance to.

He said that was why government, over the past two years had engaged services of consultants and other interested groups to come out with a single spine pay structure that would give rise to fair equitable pay in accordance with equal work value done.

He assured the delegates that the government was prepared to consider any positive outcome of the meeting that would help improve the general conditions of public service workers.

Mr John Gamali Akoto, Chairman, National Coordinating Committee, PSI Ghana, said most countries in the African and Arab regions had serious gaps in their delivery of public service and were faced with challenges such as the effect of staff cutbacks, outsourcing, low quality delivery of service, funding problems as well as low pay and relatively inferior service conditions.

He said the quest for building quality public service should therefore remain paramount in the scheme of affairs for governments and trade unions.

Mr Peter Wolderff, General Secretary, PSI World, said the meeting would consider among other things, issues discussed at the last congress held in Austria in September 2007 and others discussed at four regional levels and translate them into an African and Arab context.

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