TUC starts negotiation for 2021 minimum wage

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), Ghana has revealed that their establishment has officially written to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations requesting for a meeting of the National Tripartite Committee to commence the negotiation for an increase of the current national minimum wage which is “a paltry GHS319 per month” for 2021.

In a recent press release, the Executive committee of Ghana’s Trades Union Congress intimated that their ability to negotiate increases in the national minimum wage that is the lowest wage to be paid to an employee by law will “pave way for the negotiation of base pay” on the Single Spine Salary Structure for public sector workers for 2021.

Base pay is the initial salary paid to an employee, not including benefits, bonuses, or rises. It is the rate of compensation an employee receives in exchange for services. In Ghana, an employee’s base pay is usually expressed as a monthly or annual salary.

“We expect the negotiation of the national minimum wage and the base pay for 2021 to be concluded before the National Budget is presented to Parliament in March 2021,” TUC added.

While the increase would boost pay for some million low-wage workers, intended as one answer to income inequality, recent economic conditions owing to the coronavirus pandemic have made government and institutions involved in the negotiations reluctant to review current wages.

“For obvious reasons we have not been able to negotiate increases in the National Daily Minimum Wage and the Base Pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure for public sector workers for 2021”.

Although there are significant improvements in budgetary allocations to institutions of the state, including the accountability institutions, the Union hinted that the perception remains strong among Ghanaians that institutions of the state are unresponsive to the needs of citizens and are also unhappy about the manner in which such public organization misuse state resources.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) further asserted that besides the negotiation for an increase in the statewide minimum wage, as part of efforts towards addressing the devastating impact of COVID-19, the government together with the support of social partners, started a process towards the establishment of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) as well as some training and retraining programmes to assist young graduates who cannot find jobs after many years of school.

“We pledge our commitment to these initiatives,” the Union opined, adding that their outfit hopes to complete the processes regarding the above mentioned programmes in the first half of 2021 to make them fully operational for the benefit of all and sundry.

The Trades Union Congress finally assured the working populace of Ghana that even though “unfortunately, COVID-19 has followed us into 2021,” together with its affiliate unions, its outfit will continue to work hand-in-hand with social partners on important matters of the state and in the interest of the citizens.

“The TUC will continue to play its role to promote industrial peace which is necessary for economic and social transformation. We will continue to offer our perspective on critical issues of national development in the spirit of social partnership.

“We expect our social partners [including the] government and private sector employers to play their respective roles.

“We also expect government to commit resources to strengthen social dialogue institutions as part of efforts towards strengthening social partnership and good governance”.

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