Business News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
Social partners made up of the government, labour unions and employers have agreed to an 11 per cent increase in the base pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
They have also agreed to maintain the incremental steps on the 25-level structure at 1.7 per cent.
The 11 per cent increase in the base pay of 2017, which is GH¢7.45, puts the base pay at GH¢8.27 for the year 2018.
These agreements were reached at a meeting of the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) last Tuesday.
A statement signed by the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Mr George Smith-Graham, who represented the government and the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah, who represented labour unions and associations, said the increase was arrived at and agreed to by the parties.
The SSSS began in 2010 with a base pay of GH¢3.42 and a relativity of 1.7 per cent.
It was increased by 20 per cent in 2011 to GH¢4.10.
The 2012 base pay of GH¢4.48 represented an 18 per cent increase over the 2011 base pay of GH¢4.10.
In 2013, the base pay was increased by 10 per cent, making it GH¢ 5.32.
The PSJSNC in 2014 agreed to the payment of a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to be paid in lieu of an increase in the base pay.
The COLA represented a 10 per cent increase over the 2013 basic salary and was paid monthly from May 2014.
The partners agreed to a 13 per cent increase for the year 2015 and a 10 per cent increase for 2016.
In 2017, the PSJSNC increased the base pay by 12.5 per cent.
In all the negotiations, the pay point relativities were maintained at 1.7 per cent because the structure was a new one being implemented and partners did not want to widen the levels on the structure.
The partners have also always intended to bridge the gap between the National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) and the base pay on the SSSS.
However, since the implementation of the SSSS, that has not been achieved.
The base pay of GH¢8.27 for the year 2018 is below the NDMW of GH¢9.68, which is also to take effect from January 1, 2018.
The NDMW is the least wage below which no employer pays a worker in Ghana, while the base pay is the last pay point on the SSSS.
The PSJSNC is provided for in Section 101 (1) of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) for the negotiations of issues relating to the conditions of service of workers.
It is made up of the FWSC, representing the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the Ministry of Finance on one hand, and a representative each of all the more than 31 unions and associations, led by the TUC secretary-general.
The base pay is the minimum pay on the SSSS, while the relativity is the percentage differentials between the successive pay points on the structure.