A ranking member on the communications team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Beatrice Annan, has added her voice to calls by organized labour in demanding 65% base pay increase.
Speaking on Joy News’ Newsfile she said, labour is right to demand an increase from the initial 60% to meet the rising cost of living because they play a vital role in the productivity of the country.
“Labour is right, labor actually constitutes every microcosm of the bigger economy and so it is not the case that macroeconomic indicators of the country are just depleting away and labors life will be better, I think that point has to be made,” she said.
Lawyer Annan justified the assertion that organized labour was very much affected by the current economic woes and it was pertinent that as inflation went up, salaries go up to meet the rising cost of living.
“So, if the economy is not doing well, obviously households are not doing well and labor is a very important arm of every nation when we want to develop. Now it’s important to state that in determining the salaries and wages of labor it should, and it ought to be pegged with inflation and in our country the steep depreciation of the cedi has affected the standard of living,” she said.
She added, “So consistently, the communication cannot be that labor should suffer against the background that the government is unable to manage the cedi or our currency and while government is unable to manage its expenditure and expect that every time we call labor to fasten its belt, it loosen its stomach and consume more. It is just unfair and I will support the calls by labour to hold government accountable.”
She explained that the government had to put in efforts to cut down on expenditure so that the citizenry can join in the burden sharing.
“The government as the employer is not showing any sign that we cannot afford the 65% , except to say that we know what we can afford. We can afford an increase in our expenditure but we just cannot afford to bring labor in, and you do not expect any body to accept that,” she added.
It would be recalled that organized labour revised its demand for increase in the base pay to 65% from the previous 60% they proposed since the commencement of negotiations with the government.
According to the President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Dr. Issac Owusu, the new figure was arrived at because of the tax increases announced in the 2023 Budget.
“Looking at the 2023 Budget, you realised that some of the decisions made by the government won’t help our members if we take the 60 percent. For instance, the increment of VAT to 2.5 percent and the income tax bracket which has been varied by government and introduced in this new decision,” he said.
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