TUC urges calm amid agitation over base pay increase [

The Trades Union Congress has urged unions upset with the base pay increments for public sector workers for 2021 and 2022 to exerciser restraint.

At a press conference by Organised Labour on July 26, 2021, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Yaw Baah, said the base pay increase of 4 percent for 2021 and 7 percent for 2022 could have been worse.

“The outcome was not what we had expected, but it could have been worse, given the economic challenges and the stance of government toward pay rise, particularly in 2021,” Dr. Baah said.

The union’s urge came as three teacher unions have expressed dissatisfaction with the announced base pay increment.

The unions; Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), called for a review.

GNAT in particular said its members were boiling in anger.

But Dr. Baah said, aside from the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, TUC feared that further increases might lead to redundancy in the public service.

“We had to avoid redundancy, by all means, because of the negative social and economic effects of the mass redundancies we witnessed in the 1990s, as part of the structural adjustment programme,” he explained.

The TUC, which negotiated with the government as part of organised labour, was able to ensure that, within the next two years, the government shall not declare any public sector worker redundant.

They also agreed that the government shall not freeze employment in the public service, all workers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 during the next two years and that government will pay social security contributions regularly.

Moving forward, in line with agreements with the government, Dr. Baah said the unions needed to ensure that “there shall be no redundancy, one million jobs will be created in the next three years equitably distributed across all the 16 regions, all workers will be vaccinated and workers’ pension contributions will be paid on time, without delay.”

The Base Pay structure on the Single Spine Salary Structure is determined by the Public Service Joint Standing 3 Negotiating Committee which is made up of government representatives from the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and Ministry of Finance.

Mediocrity. What does he mean by ‘it could have been worse’? Instead of hitting the streets and threatening to go on strike and rejecting that 4% increment, you are urging your members to accept it in good faith whereas the politicians can do whatever pleases them. We give them too much freedom to do anything even if our very lives are on the line. When will we ever wake up from our slumber, Ghanaian youth?

TUC has made a good call on its members but the members are already out issuing threats to the government. TUC should have been proactive in talking to their member associations to long before now.

In fact , some of these labor unrest are needless