A second labour market survey to determine who deserves to be given a Market Premium (MP) under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) will be completed by end of the first quarter this year; and the implementers of the scheme – Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) – will approve a roll out, the B&FT has learnt.
The survey is to capture occupations deserving to be paid the MP, which is an amount allocated to skills that are in short supply – a way to entice more people into the sector.
It was initially set aside for medical officers and lecturers, but it met many setbacks as some support-staff of the two occupations made a case as to why they needed to benefit from the MP. Some professions which had similar duties like medical officers and lecturers also made a strong case for the MP. The development brought some high level of discomfort in the labour market, leading to a suspension of the MP.
Speaking to the B&FT, the Chief Executive Officer of FWSC, Dr. Edward Kwapong, said the aim of the second labour market survey on the MP is to bring some finality to the matter, as many stakeholders were not happy with the first survey conducted.
“Certain jobs are naturally scarce and yet very critical to needs of the state in terms of national development. As a result, we have given Market Premium to certain positions.
“In the beginning it was for doctors and some people in the medical field who were in short supply but critical to the national need. Lecturers also enjoyed market premium, and some other occupational groups; at a point we were under pressure to migrate so many people to enjoy Market Premium, but we had to clarify a few things before taking the decision.
“What we did was to introduce an Interim Market Premium arrangement, with the hope that with time we would conduct a labour market survey and make sure the jobs we have identified as scarce and yet critical are indeed scarce and critical.
“That exercise we have done before; however, the results were not too acceptable for our stakeholders and therefore we are doing another one. Hopefully, by the end of first quarter the result will be out and we can make moves toward implementation,” Dr. Kwapong said in an interview.
He is optimistic the stakeholders will be comfortable with the new survey as this time there was adequate consultation. “At the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, we try as hard as we can to ensure that we are fair to all manner of persons.
“We have our own challenges, but we do well to always put the interests of workers first. It is my hope that the survey’s results will help us make progress when it comes to the Market Premium; we have held it up for a long time, and we have to settle the issues and pay those who really deserve it,” Dr. Kwapong added.
The Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) implemented in 2010 was to regulate the payment of public service workers, especially those under article 190 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) was introduced as an attempt to establish and administer compensation for public service workers with comparable qualifications and experiences, taking into account the different tasks they perform.