AKUFO-ADDO WANTS TO SCRAP KUFUOR’S SINGLE SPINE

The process that the Akufo-Addo government has set up to review the Single Spine Salary Structure appears to be a fanciful preamble to an upcoming scrap of the SSSS.

Ahead of getting to work on a review process, the Advisory Group for the Review of Pay Systems, had had its official innauguration punctuated with sentiments that salaries paid Ghanaian workers under the SSSS are too fat and burdensome to the government.

Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, who had inaugurated the group on Tuesday had made it clear that if the Advisory Group recommends that the SSSS be scrapped at the end of its work, it would be scrapped.

The same Ignatius Baffour-Awuah had made it clear that the continuous implementation of the SSSS has become a challenge for the NPP government mainly due to the non-corresponding productivity to pay increase.

The Employment Minister’s whine over the burdensomeness of SSSS comes at a time that government is undertaking a program with the International Monetary Fund which requires that it cut down the wage bill.

Indeed, IMF Staff Report issued in April 2015 said in part: “The Government will undertake, with the assistance of development partners, a comprehensive plan to rationalize the size and increase the efficiency of the civil service and allied services on the payroll. The related strategic plan will be ready in December 2015, the results of which will inform the actual rationalization of staff, which is expected to begin in 2017.”

The inauguration of the so called Advisory Group for the Review of Pay Systems comes two months after Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, had hinted in August that the NPP government would downsize the public sector to unburden itself from overbearing wage bill.

Indications are that, the Advisory Group will very likely recommend a scrapping of the SSSS which interestingly, was the brainchild of former President Kufuor.

Mr. Kufuor, who ruled Ghana from 2001 to 2009, had intentionally signed the SSSS into place on his last day in office in 2009 apparently, as a booby trap for the Mills government which had just assumed the reins of power.

SSSS’ implementation had been very challenging for the Mills government but the Mills government had braved all odds and started its implementation in 2010, with the NPP which was in opposition at the time, condemning the NDC government as incompetent over implementation challenges with the SSSS.

However, now that the same party is in office, it is decrying the burdensomeness of the same pay policy that it had trapped the erstwhile NDC government with, while it postures to scrap it.

According to Employment Minister, Ignacious Baffour Awuah, the setting up of the Advisory Group to investigate and possibly give reasons for the scrap of the SSSS had been recommended by a tripartite committee put up by the government.

SSSSS’s coverage of some 60% of government’s revenue was heavily decried at the inauguration of the 11 member committee.

Terms of reference of the committee include examination and review of the current pay systems for both the public and private sectors.

It is also to examine and review the structure for productivity in the public sector; examine the sustainability of the current public pay system; examine and review the sustainability of the current pension scheme regime (Tier 1 and Tier 2); identify best pay models, and recommend best pay system and pension schemes for Ghana.

Members of the Committee include Abena Osei-Asare,  Deputy Minister of Finance; Dr Alhassan Iddrisu, Ministry of Finance; Mrs Eva Addo, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and Rev. Brenda Osei-Kofi, Ghana Statistical Service, all representing the government side.

Organised Labour is represented by Dr Kwabena Otoo, Trades Union Congress; Mr J.N.O. Ankrah, Civil & Local Government Staff Association of Ghana, Mr K. Ahenekwa-Quarshie, Ghana National Association of Teachers; and Mr Kenneth Koomson, Ghana Federation of Labour.

Others are Dr Benjamin Amoah representing the Bank of Ghana, and Dr William Baah Boateng from the University of Ghana.

The Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is a major component of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) introduced by the government of Ghana to regulate the payment of public service workers, especially those under Article 190 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

 

Source:therepublicnewsonline.com/ Stan Adotey

The Republic News Online

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