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Labour Conference recommends review of Single Spine Pay Policy to address salary disparities

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Delegates at the end of the maiden National Labour Conference have recommended the review of the Single Spine Pay Policy to address the disparities and inequalities in the public sector wages.

To facilitate this, they proposed the setting up of a technical committee, by end of March 2022, to undertake the preliminary review on the policy and its cost implications, after more than 10 years of implementation.

This was contained in a communique, adopted at the end of the Conference, organised by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and its Tripartite partners, at Kwahu-Nkwatia in the Eastern Region.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, closed the two-day conference, chaired by the Kwahuhene, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II.

The communique, presented Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment, recommended that the review of the Policy should be aligned with the next national budget cycle.

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Communique said, should be resourced to execute its mandate effectively and empowered to develop a framework, which would link the reviewed pay policy to productivity.

It was important, the communique stated, to engender commitment to productivity and thus recommended the institution of an Anual Labour Productivity Week.

It urged the training and retraining of workers and the honouring of performance contracts towards increasing productivity.

The conference, which was on the theme, “Strengthening Tripartism for Peaceful Labour Relations and Resilient Economy”, was aimed at adopting a roadmap and a communique that would inform and shape Government’s approach for the resolution of labour issues for national development.

Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta delivered a technical paper on the “The State of the Economy”, after which he encouraged stakeholders to consider the economic realities of the times, and adopt the Irish model of joint commitment to rebuild the economy for the creation of decent jobs for the youth and earning of decent wages in the interest of all.

The deliberations, consequently, focused on the State of the Economy, Conditions of Service of Public Sector Workers, Public Sector Salaries, Labour Productivity, Labour Dispute Prevention and Resolution, and Sustainable Pensions for all.

The delegates agreed that in meeting the demands of labour the stability of the micro economy should not be compromised.

They called for work to be expedited on the establishment of a National Unemployment Insurance Scheme.

They also encouraged the government to take steps to eliminate waste in  public sector expenditure, complete existing projects and plug all the lopeholes by enforcing sanctions in the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act.

On pensions, the delegates urged that it was prioritised as part of working conditions.

A national debate on pensions should, therefore, be initiated to among others, consider the review of the pensionable income to include allowances and non cash benefits.

This would ensure that workers did not retire worse off but enjoyed quality lives.

The delegates also called for the urgent redress of issues regarding the transfer of temporary pension funds to tier two schemes to ensure that beneficiaries received their full entitlements.

On preventing labour disputes, they called for sound dialogue, regular exchange of information and communication and mutual respect among parties in dispute.

The National Labour Commission should also be resourced to speedily resolve disputes across the country.

The leadership of Organised Labour and Employers expressed their contentment with the outcome of the conference and expressed the hope that the tripartism would thrive for a sustained peaceful and productive industrial environment.

They commended the President, who opened the conference, for accepting a proposal to institutionalise the conference as an annual event.

More than 100 representatives from state enterprises and institutions and tripartite constituents participated in the conference.

Source: GNA

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