The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) has called on Ghanaians especially political leaders to end the blame game over the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP).
A statement signed by Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOSAG and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday denied that the current economic downturn in the country is as a result of the implementation of the SSPP.
It said there is ample evidence to suggest that the budget deficits incurred between 2010 and 2014 were not primarily due to the implementation of the SSPP in the public sector.
“It ought to be noted that prior to the implementation of the SSPP, there had been a virtual freeze on salary increases in the public services and the total wage bill has to be disaggregated to be able to pinpoint where the expenditures on the wage bill had been excessive,” it said.
It said in recent years, the chunk of the wage bill has been accentuated or increased by defraying arrears of previous years.
“Other factors that had also contributed to the undesirable budget deficits could be attributed to non realization of revenue projections; the dipping of primary commodities exported by Ghana and the shortfall in inflows from development partners,” it said.
According to the statement, even though the intent and purpose of the Single Spine Pay Policy were laudable, vital issues and procedures were not adhered to or ignored during the implementation and that had resulted in the current challenges.
“There was unavailability of implementation guidelines, which resulted in ad hoc decisions by the Fair Wages and Salary Commission that fuelled and continue to fuel labour unrests in the country and also improper costing of the Single Spine Pay Policy that created the erroneous impression that Government Budgets can contain the extra expenditures on emoluments in the Public Sector,” it said.
The statement said the simultaneous payments of remuneration on two salary structures where payment of salaries are based on the Single Spine Salary Structure while allowances and other benefits are being paid on previous salary structures also contributed to the current problem.
“Worse of all, the way and manner political appointees persistently ignored good counsel from CLOGSAG prior to and during the implementation of the policy also contributed in compounding the problem,” it added.
It said if there had been any problem of budget overruns due to the implementation of the SSPP, it should be blamed on some of the political appointees, who, in most cases, did not at that time, appreciate the complexities of the operations within Government Services and were concerned with only political expediencies.