General News of Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Government has promised to act proactively to avoid any disturbances to the labour front this year.
This comes in the wake of threats by some of the labour unions, notably the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), that more strikes will be embarked on if government fails to meet their demands; some of which they claim, have spanned 9 years.
But speaking to TV3’s Bridget Otoo on Midday Live on Tuesday, January 6, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu expressed optimism that all concerns of the labour unions will be resolved before a flat deadline of up till June, this year.
“We will be proactive but largely many of the issues are about finance and the capacity of the budget to contain or not to contain [workers’] demands and the legitimacy of their request,” Labour Relations Minister Iddrisu said.
Though he sounded stoic, the Minister said a series of meetings were held between the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the concerned labour unions before the close of 2014 over the workers’ grievances.
He, however, noted that issues about their pensions were not discussed as “the matter of pensions is currently before court.”
Last year witnessed several strike actions by labour unions including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and GMA, predominantly over incremental credits under the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP).
“We will do our best to avoid disturbances of the industrial harmony of the country…the best that we can within the challenges of the national economy.”