Govt should call industrial truce – former WHO director

General News of Monday, 8 April 2013

Source: Joy Online

John Mahama1

Mr. Andy Asamoah, a former member of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) believes it is time to call industrial truce among labour groups.

This he said will allow time for an independent committee to evaluate issues with the Single Spine Salary Structure (SPSS).

Mr. Asamoah who is also a former Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) spoke on the Joy Fm Super Morning Show, Monday, April 8, 2013.

He said the country was facing serious problems with regard to the implementation of the single pay policy because, ” the basics were not respected”.

“All the things they are asking now (allowances, market premium, etc) should have been determined at the time of determining their basic salary”.

He said that “the commission should have completed the totality of all the job evaluation. Put every body on the scale, see how much the total bill was going to be, make recommendations to the government and at that point, it would be up to the government to implement it immediately or in phases”.

He bemoaned the implementation strategy where personnel of the Police Service got theirs first because “you establish a benchmark where others begin to think if police got this, then I should get more.”

He advised that the proper way was “that the whole structure for the security service should be put together, call the various agencies under security. Show the structure to them” and explain why for example the constable is getting more than the warden”.

He said the same should have been done for the health sectors and other sectors.

He also cited human resource challenges facing the FWSC. He cited the example of Mrs. Cooper Enchil, whom he believed should have been appointed advisor to the commission.

“The lady who prepared the report being implemented; when we were on the commission I insisted that this woman be made advisor to the commission.

He continued that “from January 2009, to the best of my knowledge Mrs. Cooper was never consulted. Now if I design a system and you want to implement my design who do you consult to know why did I do this…Mrs. Cooper is now in Liberia.”

On the way forward, he called on government to declare an industrial truce.

He also said that this will allow an independent committee to be set up to evaluate the situation between the FWSC and labour because at the core of the series of unrest are issues of trust.

He also recommended that the chairman of the FWSC should be responding to labour and not the Chief Executive Officer because “the staff are there only to support the Commission but it looks as if the fight is between the labour and the CEO of FWSC”

The HR expert reiterated that the “the whole idea is not to give people what they felt they deserve but to harmonise disparities among different labour groups”.