The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the government to fulfil its promise to top-up the lump-sum for those who retired in 2020 and those who are retiring in 2021.
In its review of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policies of government, the TUC said: “We asked the government, as a matter of urgency, to fulfil the promise to top-up the lump-sum for those who retired in 2020 and those who are retiring in 2021.”
The Congress proposed an amendment of Act 766 to postpone the full implementation of the pension reforms regarding pension benefits (including lumpsum benefits) until 2031. “We renewed our call on the government to convene a stakeholder consultative meeting to discuss pensions, as the 2022 budget had nothing on all of these demands/requests and suggestions,” the TUC said.
It further expressed worry about the worsening living standards, emanating from the high cost of living, low pay and joblessness.
Regarding the public pay, TUC drew government attention to the low pay on the single spine salary structure (SSSS), the pay inequalities between workers on the SSSS, State-Owned Enterprises and Article 71, amongst others. However, it expressed concern that the budget had no word on the possible review of the Single Spine Pay Policy.
Highlighting concerns of members, TUC said: “In 2021, workers on the SSSS had salary increase of only 4%. Some State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) had 15-20% or even higher, although they are already earning higher salaries, even though as a group, the SOEs are recording unprecedented losses.”
Between 2015 and 2019, SOEs have consistently posted negative operating margins, averaging around 10%. In 2019, the SOEs recorded total losses of GH¢586.4m compared to GH¢188 million in 2018 (more than threefold losses)
“There is the urgent need for evaluation of SOE performance and a cap on the CEO pay in the SOEs. There is the need to bridge the gap between Single Spine officeholders, Article 71 officeholders and salaries in the SOEs.”
Pertaining to employment, the Congress insisted government needs to consider revising the various public sector employment programmes, with an option to explore the possibility of integrating all.
“We expected the 2022 Budget to address the problems that inhibit the expansion of the private sector in the most aggressive way. We asked the government and the relevant public institutions to secure markets for domestic firms locally and externally. We urged the government to invest in employment data to allow for assessment of the impact of government policies on employment,” the Congress said.