General News Fri, 30 Sep 2011

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Two-month Single Spine back pay for Civil Servants

Public Service workers whose salaries increased as a result of their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) would receive two months arrears in October.

Dr George Smith-Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday, explained that though the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had issued a letter to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to pay the arrears by the end of September, the payments could not be effected.

He said indications from the Accountant Generals’ Department were that the Ministry’s directive came at a time when September salaries had already been processed and therefore the changes could not be made.

Dr Smith-Graham however explained that the Ministry was yet to give its response on the decision by the CAGD to postpone payments of the arrears till the end of October.

He explained that the Joint Standing Negotiating Committee would meet next week with the Finance Ministry to negotiate the payment modalities for the arrears of the 20 per cent salary increase across board, which was announced by government, effective January this year, as well as the SSSS, which took effect in January 2010.

Asked why government had to accumulate the huge arrears, he explained that at the time of implementation of the SSSS, the differences in salaries to be paid after the job evaluation could not be anticipated.

Dr Smith-Graham said after about 60 per cent coverage of the migration process had been recorded, government could now determine the amount of money required to bridge the gap.

He said currently about 45 institutions have so far been migrated onto the SSSS and expressed the hope that the process would be fast tracked to ensure that all public service workers are successfully on board to ensure a unified salary structure and effective salary regime in Ghana.

In June 2007, an Act of Parliament (Act 737, 2007) established FWSC to ensure fair, transparent and systematic implementation of the government public service pay policy. In November, 2009, government published a White Paper on the SSSS, which indicated that the first six months of the implementation process will be used to address some persistent technical problems to ensure that the policy does not re-introduce inequities which it was designed to address.

The 13-page document accepted in principle the recommendations that the Single Spine Pay Policy serve as basis for public service pay, effective January 1, 2010 subject to the correction of the technical problems associated with the current proposal.

Source: GNA

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