Gov’t laments over 60% base pay demand by Organised Labour
The Government has lamented the demand by organized labour for a 60 percent increase in the base rate of salaries of public sector workers.
Debating the 2023 budget on the floor of parliament, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Heman Lower Denkyira, Bright Wireko-Bobby said the strain put on the country’s wage bill by civil and public servants makes it difficult for the government to continue recruiting come January 2023 and beyond.
The government as part of its expenditure rationalization measures in the 2023 budget announced a freeze on civil and public sector hirings from January 2023.
He went on to lament the huge numbers of people on the government’s payroll and decried the 60 percent demand by organized labour, which he said left him traumatized during the tripartite negotiations.
“We have a total workforce of close to 12 million in Ghana. Out of the 30 million or so people living in Ghana, salaries of about 700,000 of this number come from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department. And the wage bill for the 700,000 in the 2023 budget will be hitting GH¢44.9 billion. The total tax revenue will also be around GH¢112 billion and out of this, GH¢44.9 billion is going to be used to pay public sector workers.
“As we speak, we are in negotiations with them, and it is really difficult, they are asking for 60 percent. 700,000 workers demanding 60 percent becomes very difficult for the government to continue to hire.”
He further lamented that the New Patriotic Party government came in at a time when there was a freeze and a backlog of graduate teachers and nurses that it recruited, putting additional pressure on the wage bill.
“There was a freeze on employment when we came into power.” “The backlog that was there, including the nurses and teachers, we came in and employed all of them, and that further kept a strain on our wage bill.”