Finance Ministry says POTAG’s salary demand unrealistic

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, has said the salary demand by Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) was disproportionate with existing economic figures.

The Ministry said the POTAG request would result in detrimental fiscal implications, besides the possibility of sparking off further labour agitations in other sub-sectors of the public service.

These were contained in a statement issued by the Public Affairs Directorate of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) in Accra on Friday.

However, it said the FWSC had concluded discussions with POTAG on their market premium, a monetary award to attract and retain skills in short supply.

The previous gap of market premium between polytechnic lecturers and university lecturers before the discussions was 55 per cent.

The ideal gap between them, considering all factors involving the differences between Universities and Polytechnics, is suggested to be around 20 per cent, however by the end of the discussions, FWSC had closed the gap to 11.2 per cent.

This also implies that the implementation will take retrospective effect, with payments of arrears all the way from January, 2010 for POTAG members.

When discussions on the subject commenced earlier on, POTAG proposed a market premium of 125 per cent, which placed them above the market premium of mainstream universities.

The FWSC counter-proposed 60 per cent, and after lengthy deliberations between the two parties, the FWSC fully stretched its mandate and finally offered a market premium of 90 per cent as against a minuscule move from 125 per cent to 114 per cent by POTAG.

POTAG turned down FWSC’s 90 per cent market premium, insisting that the Commission’s offer does not totally close the gap between them and the universities.

Documentation made available to FWSC by the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), indicates that there is clear difference between a polytechnic and a university in Ghana.

Consequently, the two cannot be at par with respect to the components of their remunerations.

In the meantime, FWSC has earlier bridged the existing gap of disparity between the Polytechnics and Universities by granting a grading structure for POTAG Senior Academic Members which is at par with the University Senior Academic Members.

This was done cognizant of the need to maintain the integrity of the Polytechnics in terms of its ability to attract the needed skills to achieve its mandate, and to prevent seepage of teachers to the Universities.

In the case of the alleged delay in migration of POTAG members onto the Single Spine Salary Structure,  polytechnic teachers had reached an understanding with the FWSC to wait until university teachers were migrated.

Source: GNA

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