General News of Sunday, 21 June 2015
The National Tripartite Committee (NTC) has begun negotiations for the determination of a National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) for 2016.
“It is the desire of the government, employment and labour to conclude negotiations by September 30, this year,” Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), told journalists at the end of the meeting of the NTC reconvened yesterday to begin the negotiations.
The ministry and its social partners, who are the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), intend to conclude the negotiations by September 30, 2015, for estimates to be incorporated in the government’s economic policy and budget statement for 2016.
This is in fulfillment of one of the agreements reached in the communique signed after the second national forum on the Single Spine Pay Policy held in Takoradi on May 9, 2015.
The communique released after the forum said the “Social partners agreed to commence the determination of the National Daily Minimum Wage and public sector wage negotiation for 2016, beginning June 23 and conclude by September 2015, to enable the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to incorporate the outcomes into the National Budget of 2016.”
Housing for workers
Mr. Iddrisu said the government had also made proposals to the NTC to consider a housing scheme for public sector workers.
The proposals would involve the government, employers and organised labour representatives, who make up the NTC, working together for a workable plan to ensure improved housing for public sector workers.
The partners would also have to detail how the policy would be realised, and how the houses would be paid for by workers.
Mr Iddrisu said the government realised that housing was a challenge for many workers, hence the initiative to commit social partners to the effort of realising access to housing for public sector workers.
Base pay on SSSS
Mr Iddrisu said with the reconvening of the NTC, it was also expected that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) would reconvene the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) to determine the base pay of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), which would be negotiated concurrently with the NDMW.
The minister also disclosed that unions had raised issues about tax thresholds in relation to the NDMW of 2015, and that had been referred to the Ministry of Finance for redress.
He said meetings with the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) and staff of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) had resulted in an understanding for the workers not to resort to any industrial action until the government had been given the opportunity to look into the grievances being aired.