Gov’t can’t increase salaries by 50%- Labour Minister


Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, says it will be impossible for government to meet the 50 percent wage increase being demanded by public sector workers.

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG) and the Tema District Council of Labour, both branches of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), have demanded the increment following increases in taxes that have affected the prices of petroleum products as well as the hikes in utility tariffs.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in December 2015, increased electricity and water tariffs by 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent respectively.

But the 18 to 27 % increase in petroleum products has further incensed workers’ unions who believe workers are being overburdened as salaries remain unchanged.

The Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, in an interview with Citi FM on Tuesday said the constant increases will worsen the life of the Ghanaian worker and demanded an increase in salaries.

But speaking on Citi FM, Haruna Iddrisu said a 50 percent increment will not be feasible since government has to settle outstanding debts for which reason the taxes were introduced.

“We need to be able to offset the outstanding legacy debt of almost 4.5 billion Ghana cedis. A wage increase by 50 percent, is not just difficult but impossible.”

He was however quick to add that government will negotiate with labour to determine how best to cushion them.

“We will engage with labour and see how we can agree on in terms of some cushioning. We have been meeting since they raised the red flags. We would continue to meet on Tuesday to look at it, particularly the PURC tariff upward adjustment. With the Energy sector levy, we have little or no choices and we have no luxury as government to ensure that we fix the energy crisis for good.”



Source: citifmonline