A ranking member on the Employment, Labour and Social Welfare Committee of Parliament, Dr Kwabena Donkor has said that the adjustment of salaries for public sector workers should always be matched to the existing rate of inflation.
According to the Pru legislator, this will make life more comfortable for public sector workers, by enhancing their ability to afford the cost of commodities on the market.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FMâs Mid-day news on Wednesday, he said inasmuch as the increment from 4% to 7% is a significant improvement, the rate of increment should be pegged to the countryâs inflation pattern.
âThe minimum we can do, is to relate public sector salary adjustment to the rate of inflation. The Statistical Service has given us the annual rate of inflation which is in the double figures. And we have a salary adjustment that is in single digits.
Therefore, what it really means is that the purchasing power of the public sector worker has reduced. My ideal is to match the public sector salary adjustment to the rate of inflation. So that at least, in terms of real purchasing power, at least they stay the same. They suffer no deteriorationâ, Dr. Donkor said.
During the 6th Quadrennial National Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Kumasi, on Tuesday, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah disclosed that owing to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, government has decided to cushion public sector workers, thus the adjustment.
âIn the peak of the pandemic, we were able to safeguard the work of every public sector worker in Ghana including teachers, for which GNAT members were included. We had agreed that coming to this year, the four percent will no longer exist and that we are going to give workers a seven percentâ, Mr. Awuah said.
But reacting to the issue, the Member of Parliament for the Pru East Constituency and former Energy Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor emphasised that, there must be a correlation between the rate of inflation and the rate of salary adjustment.
In his opinion, this will empower public sector workers to be more productive, thereby leading to enhanced development for the country.
â I want to see this as a two-legged animal. One end is the remuneration which weâre talking about. The other end is productivity, labour productivity. My concern is that as a people, as a nation, we are not really putting enough emphasis on labour productivity.
Neither are we investing in labour productivity in terms of research, in terms of tools. Do we really need this quantum of public service workers? If we do, how do we make them more productive than they are. Because increased productivity will generate greater wealth for the nation. We are not looking at that,â Dr. Donkor intimated.
Meanwhile, even though the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah has announced governmentâs decision to increase the salaries of public sector workers from 4% to 7%, he did not state the effective date of implementation.