Business News of 2014-05-03

COLA is temporary – Employment Minister

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Nii Armah Ashietey has hinted that government will return to negotiating with labour over base pay when the country’s economic challenges subside.

Nii Armah Ashietey pointed out that the newly introduced Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), which replaces the base pay, is temporary.

“It is to meet an emergency situation and, therefore, it is not something that is permanent,” he told TV3’s Daniel Opoku, a few hours after the National Tripartite Committee announced a new national daily minimum wage for public sector workers.

The Committee concluded negotiations on Friday, May 2, announcing a 14.5 per cent upward adjustment of the wage from GH¢5.24 to GH¢6.

In addition, 10 per cent of base pay will be given monthly as COLA.

“We are hoping that the economic situation will change and we will go back to normalcy,” said the Employment and Labour Relations Minister.

Negotiations over public sector wages have been a tussle between government and Organised Labour. While the former has been complaining about the strain the wages have had on the national purse, the latter insist the high cost of living warrants an increase in wage.

“It is possible that we will go back to our base pay depending on the situation,” said Nii Armah Ashietey.

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