The National Forum on the sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) has affirmed that “the SSPP presents a unique opportunity for realizing equity and fairness in managing compensation within the principle of transparency in public service.”
“That all salary structures in the public sector should be integrated to ensure Equity and Fairness,” an 18- point communiqué issued by the forum has stated.
The Forum in Ho, which brought together all major stakeholders in the implementation of the SSPP, was necessitated by the stifling effects which the Policy was said to be having on fiscal stability.
This affirmation was contrary to speculations that like others before it, the SSPP might be on its way out or at best there might be a freeze on further negotiations for salary adjustments at current levels.
The Communique was however silent on negotiations for the base pay for 2013.
President John Mahama and Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress on behalf of labour told the opening session of the Forum that there could be “no viable alternative” to the SSPP and that to jettison it would lead to chaos.
To this end the Forum recommended that challenges confronting the Policy should be resolved within the framework of the law or the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) and guided by recommendations of the Forum.
It also recommended that “Government and Organized Labour meet periodically to review the Policy and its implications in the short, medium and long-term economic indicators.”
Signatories to the communiqué are Nii Armah Ashietey, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations for Government, Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General the Trades Union Congress, Organised Labour and Mr Alex Frimpong, Executive Secretary, Ghana Employers’ Association for Employers.
The Forum recommended that a Committee be formed to facilitate the implementation of its recommendations.
It further recommended that negotiations for salary adjustments should be done within the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
The Policy should be implemented in phases so as to avoid stampeding and ease financial pressures on the national purse. Wage negotiations should also be concluded before budgets are read.
Social partners should adhere to the guidelines for the determination of the market premium. Labour Market Survey should start with the Health and Education Sectors and concluded by the end of 2013.”
The Forum also recommended that all institutions be migrated onto the SSPP by the end of October this year (2013). Pay should be linked to work and productivity in the public sector based on target setting and performance contracting.
Relevant state agencies should develop a national productivity policy with indicators to guide public sector service pay administration.
The Communiqué said “there is an urgent need to complement the implementation of the SSPP with integrated Human Resource management systems.”
On Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, the Communiqué asked that government and unions in the public sector determine the class of officers who may not be part of the Unions.”
The Chief labour Officer must enforce section 79 of the Labour Act of 2003, Act 651 to ensure that key management staff who should not form or join trade unions or associations are not covered by Collective Bargaining Certificates.”
The Communiqué asked that adequate resources be given to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the National Labour Commission.