Plans to abolish emoluments for Article 71 office holders to delay

Plans to abolish the emoluments of Article 71 holders and replace them with those determined by an Independent Emoluments Commission have to wait a while longer.

Joy News’ checks reveal the Constitution Review Implementation Committee has not been working for almost a year.

This is because of a suit filed by a US-based Ghanaian professor Kwaku Asare challenging the constitutionality of the review implementation committee.

According to Prof Asare, the Prof Emmanuel Victor Dankwah-chaired constitution review implementation committee is illegal and cannot be allowed to proceed with its work.

“Professor Dankwah and his so called Constitution Review Implementation Committee have no power under the laws of Ghana to schedule a referendum and/or to amend the Constitution of Ghana.”

He said “Parliament is the sole body that can initiate, consider and propose amendments to the Constitution.”

That suit is still pending before the Supreme Court and is yet to be determined. The suit, Joy News has learnt is hampering the work of the committee.

That notwithstanding, the president is calling upon labour to support government to abolish the controversial emoluments to Article 71 office holders.

He made the call at the Single Spine Review Forum held in the Western regional capital Takoradi over the weekend.

“My comrade Kofi Asamoah has always maintained that labour alone is not responsible for the current wage bill. He says there are the article 71 workers who also contribute to the increase in the wage bill. I will ask him to join us in pushing forward the constitutional reforms in which one of the reforms is to abolish article 71 (emoluments) and replace them with an independent emoluments commission,” he said.

Public sector workers have also given President Mahama their support in helping to implement the new reforms.

Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress, Kofi Asamoah said the review is in order.

“What we are asking for is to ensure fairness in the pay system we have in the country. The single spine was introduced to bring all categories of government workers into a kind of open space for us to discuss and manage [the pay roll].

“I will agree there should be enough consultation but ultimately we support the view there should be change in the current arrangement [of article 71] so that when we talk about the wage bill going up everybody will be abreast with what the contributory factors are,” he said.

Kofi Asamoah hoped the review will not necessarily worsen the plight of article 71 office holders.

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