The Trades Union Congress(TUC) has opposed the government’s decision to freeze employment in the public sector in 2023.
The TUC has described the move as a betrayal from the government as they had promised not to do so.
According to the Deputy TUC General Secretary, Joshua Ansah, the TUC is disappointed in the government for the directive.
“I am disappointed about the freeze of employment in the civil and public services in 2023 because this is something that the TUC has spoken about it all this while.
“When the IMF team came to this country, we had the opportunity to meet with them, and one of the issues we raised with them is about the freeze of employment that always becomes their conditionality anytime they access their programme. We were assured that that was not going to happen,” he stated.
Mr Ansah indicated the TUC would hold discussions with its Social Welfare Committee and respond through the appropriate channels.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during his presentation of the 2023 budget on Thursday, November 24, 2022, announced the directive as part of measures to cut expenditures.
The “hiring freeze for civil and public servants” was listed among 12 other directives aimed at reducing government expenditures for 2023.
The Finance Minister said, “as a first step toward expenditure rationalisation, the Government has approved the following directives, which take effect from January 2023.”
Below are the measures:
1. All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation ,including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs.
2. A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023.
3. Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles.
4. Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year
2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff.
5. As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities.
6. Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year.
7. Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities and clothing, etc.
8. A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for free zone, mining, oil and gas companies.
9. A hiring freeze for civil and public servants.
10. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023.
11. There shall be no hampers for 2022.
12. There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024.
13. All non-critical projects must be suspended for the 2023 Financial year.