The fourth meeting between organised labour and the government ended inconclusively as the unions rejected the government’s 18 per cent base pay rise proposal.
At the first meeting, the unions proposed a 60 per cent base pay increment, but the government revised it to an 8 per cent increment.
During subsequent meetings, the government decided to increase the figure to 15 per cent, which the unions rejected.
On Wednesday, November 30, 2022, the unions met with the government again on the same base pay increment.
At the meeting, the labour unions changed their proposed 60 per cent demand to a 65 per cent base pay increment request.
But the government refused to accept the changes, which brought the meeting to an inconclusive end.
The Deputy General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Joshua Ansah, stated, “the single spine pay structure is the most indecent paid structure in this country. This is the opportunity for us to write the wrongs, so we are not difficult. We are the same people. We are the same union members that took the 4 and 7 per cent, and we are the same people asking for the 60 per cent, and the reasons are clearly written on the walls.”
“We are not taking anything below 60 per cent. We are not representing ourselves. We are representing our constituents. And we have to go back to our members who sent us to negotiate on their behalves,” he added.
President of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, who addressed the media, also noted that the “government has stated that they are going to consult, and the labour unions are also going to meet their constituents and give them feedback.”
Adding to that, he said the government has not been fair to them based on the 2.5 per cent VAT increment stated in the 2023 budget, which will affect them in a way.
Moreover, he explained that due to the additional cost associated with their professionals after the budget reading, the unions now demand a 65 per cent base increment instead of the earlier 60 per cent they proposed.
The Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Commission also said the government was frustrated about how the unions handled the matter.
He noted, “In negotiation, we have to go back and come again. This is about money. It is about the ability to pay, so I am also worried about them not meeting us at where we can come to a compromise”.
He averred that anytime the government proposed a figure, the unions failed to accept it.
In a letter signed by TUC General Secretary Dr Yaw Baah and the Chairman of the forum of Public Sector Workers Isaac Bampoe Addo on November 18, 2022, they cited “the rising inflation and the 15% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) granted on the National Daily Minimum Wage as grounds for their proposal of the earlier 60 per cent base pay increment”.
Now, the unions have added 5 per cent to the 60 per cent due to the 2.5 per cent VAT increment and additional charges, which they claimed will make life uncomfortable for members.
The fifth meeting has therefore been adjourned to an indefinite date.