General News of Tue, 20 Dec 201685

12.5% salary increase for workers is not new - Haruna Iddrisu

Labour Minister Haruna Iddrisu says the 12.5% salary increase for public sector workers is not new.

He told Joy News the decision to increase, which is part of the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure was taken in September 2016.

The announcement was contained in a statement dated September 13, 2016 and jointly signed by the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission George Smith Graham and General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress Dr Yaw Baah.

However with Mahama led administration preparing to hand over power to the incoming administration led by Nana Akufo-Addo, reports have suggested the 12.5% increment is something new.

The reports come at a time the National Service Employees have received hikes in their allowances thanks to a last minute announcement by the National Service Authority.

Per the increases, Service employees will now take home ¢559.04 up from ¢350.00.

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Critics, particularly members of the incoming government have questioned the increases and appointments being showered on beneficiaries by the outgoing government.

Outgoing Labour and Employment Minister Haruna Iddrisu has however defended the 12.5% increase in the public sector wages.

He told Joy News nothing untoward has been done and accused critics of being mischievous by bringing the 12.5% increases as if the announcement was made during the transition period.

According to him, the decision to increase salaries of public sector workers was arrived at by the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC), comprising government, and organised labour.

He said the negotiations commenced in May 2016 and completed in September 2016 but will take effect in January 2017.

In 2008, the outgoing Kufuor government announced the implementation of the SSSS on the eve of his departure from government but the incoming administration condemned the action and stayed its implementation until 2010.

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But Haruna Iddrisu insists the circumstances are different.

He explained the decision was taken in September 2016 but the implementation date was set on January 2017 to allow for better planning and implementation.

According to him, provision has been made in the 2017 budget for its implementation and there is no cause for alarm.

He said labour will not be excited about the quantum of increases because they will be expecting a higher percentage.

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