Productivity should determine public sector pay rise, not inflation – Labour Expert

Labour expert urges public servants to hang onto 4% pay rise
Austin Akufo Gamey,

Labour Expert, Austin Gamey has said that the current status quo where the inflation rate is a key determinant in the adjustment of public sector salary needs to change.

According to him, the mode of adjustment being practiced in the country does not only deviate from international standards but also breeds unsatisfied public sector workforce as the blanket increment also benefits persons who are lazy at work.

He is therefore proposing an overhaul of the mode of public sector salary adjustment, saying, it should be based on individual productivity, noting that the only role inflation should play is for restoration purposes. “That should be the reasoning behind any pay increase. That is what is done by countries to ensure the workforce contribute meaningfully to economic growth and Ghana must do the same,” Mr. Gamey said.

For him, to prevent a generic increase enjoyed by all, he is proposing the development of a working meter that would determine the level of increment that every public worker deserves.

“There should be the development of a working meter so that government would be able to weed the lazy workers out and also use it to encourage others to pull their wait. With this, the harder you work the higher you are paid,” he explained.

Speaking to the B&FT on the back of rising agitations after the announcement that public servants were going to have a 4 and 7percent base pay increase for 2021 and 2022 –the lowest increment in a decade– Mr. Gamey said government needs to take advantage to this development to draw a new pay increase structure that would support economic growth.

Labour unrest   

Since the 2021-2022 base pay increment was announced last month, there have been some uproar among labour unions. Already, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) and a section of Civil Servants have expressed extreme dissatisfaction. GNAT President, Philippa Larsen, has said publicly that if the base pay stays this low, teachers would ‘rise up’.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has diplomatically reminded the government of its failure to implement agreed conditions of service. In a letter copied to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), the GMA stated that their members agreed to give the government two months to put in place measures to meet the conditions of service, which includes some arrears and healthcare. Failure of government to do so, doctors will embark on strict action on Friday, October 1.

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