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Minority Cries For Workers

Dr  Anthony Akoto

Dr Anthony Akoto

MINORITY IN Parliament yesterday cried out for public sector workers, lamenting that the recent nominal increases in salaries by President John Atta Mills’s administration are not commensurate with the high level of inflation in the country.

The lamentation from the Minority followed a comment by the Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, Stephen Amoanor Kwao, on the floor of Parliament that, “Governments have over the years awarded annual salary increments to Public Sector workers to cushion them from financial hardships as well as motivating them to raise /increase productivity”.

Members of the Minority group including Isaac Kwame Asiamah, MP for Atwima Mponua, who dragged the Employment Minister to the House to answer a question on workers salaries; Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and MP for Old Tafo and Albert Kan–Dapaah, MP for Afigya-Sekyere West, were not convinced with the Minister’s assertion.

They contended that the recently announced salary increases of 17 per cent for public sector workers or organised labour; 10 per cent each for Health Services Workers and Ghana Medical Association respectively cannot cushion workers from financial hardships as presented by the Employment and Social Welfare Minister.

According to them, these increases are lower than the current inflation rate of 18.37 per cent and have been eroded by the inflationary figure, making very little impact on the Ghanaian worker.

However, the Minister, Mr. Amoanor Kwao, who is also the MP for Upper Manya, indicated that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) was only following the convention of salary increases in the country.

The current government in continuing with the convention, he stressed, awarded salary increases to public sector employees this year following the conclusion of negotiations on July 7, 2009 for organised labour; August 24 for Health Services Workers and October 15 for GMA.

Negotiations for increased salaries, Mr. Amoanor Kwao pointed out, “Were held between government represented by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and Government Team of Experts on one hand; and Organised Labour (Unions/Associations), Health Services Workers Union and the Ghana Medical Association respectively on the other”.

Government, he said was hopeful the new salary levels would motivate public sector employees to give off their best, remain loyal and committed to the NDC administration so as to sustain the on-going industrial peace in the country.

Later, Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2009 and the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2009 were read for the first time and referred to the Select Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for consideration and report.

Source: dailyguideghana

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