Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) Is Expected To Be Successfully Completed By September
The process of migrating public sector workers onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is expected to be successfully completed by September this year, Vice-President John Mahama has said.
He said since the implementation of the new pay policy began in July 1, last year, 33 institutions, representing almost 60 per cent of public sector workers, have been migrated and are currently under the policy.
Addressing thousand of workers at this year’s national May Day parade at the Independence Square, in Accra yesterday, the vice president was confident that by next month, 90 per cent of public sector workers will be migrated and paid under the new structure.
This year’s parade by organised labour themed, ‘Decent Work For Sustainable Economic Development,’ saw workers carrying placards some of which read, ‘productivity goes with more money,’ `income tax is killing the workers’ `oh God save us from AVRL’ and `Mr. President, when are you taking over shipyard completely.’
Vice-President Mahama acknowledged that there are challenges with the migration processes as other worker groups such as health workers, are being onto the new pay structure, but expressed the hope that they will also be migrated successfully.
He said the prudent management of the economy has enabled the government to absorb the new pay policy, adding that though salary levels might not meet all expectations, the government has made a good start.
Mr. Mahama observed that labour productivity has been on the low side in recent times, and stressed the need for it to improve to enable the country to remain competitive in the sub-regions.
He said employers owe it an obligation to their workers to ensure occupational health and safety at all times, and indicated that the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare has been asked to facilitate a new draft policy on occupational safety for promulgation into law by the end of the year.
Vice-President Mahama said the government has ensured increased job creation and the provision of social safety nets and intervention schemes such as the free distribution of exercise books and free school uniforms, the Capitation Grant and the LEAP programmes.
He said the new Ghana Shared Growth Agenda places emphasis on agricultural development, decentralisation and job creation, and with the recent transfer of over 30,000 civil servants to the Local Government Service, government is determined to pursue decentralisation to its logical conclusion.
The Vice-President also reiterated government’s commitment to fighting corruption and asked organised labour to partner it in that regard.
Mr. Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trade Unions Congress, stressed the need for all social partners, including the government, to ensure that workers are guaranteed decent work, saying that if democracy fails to deliver decent work and improve living standards, people can lose confidence in the political system.
Mr. Asamoah stated that the outcome of the mapping of public sector workers clearly shows that pay level s are still low and requires further review if the country will see real benefits in the new pay policy.
He called for the establishment of social dialogue structures and processes to provide the means for workers’ right to be protected and advanced.
He also urged government and employers to pay attention to occupational safety and health since “many workers are dying on the job and others suffer various degrees of disability while at work”.
Acknowledging government’s effort toward the expansion of the health infrastructure, particularly at the district levels, he entreated the government to continue to take the necessary measures to strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme for a better health care delivery.