Ghana Medical Association backs calls for higher wages for public sector workers
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has added its voice to calls for higher wages for public sector workers across the country.
According to the Association, it took note of the current economic challenges in the country, and therefore of its decision to support the movement of organized trade unions across the country.
Speaking in an interview with Evans Mensah on Featured story On Monday, the Association’s Vice President, Dr Justice Yankson, said that from now on, labor groups across the country, including the Ghana Medical Association, are waiting for the tripartite committee to set the new salary. minimum, after which they also intervene in their requests.
“If you adjust something through inflation, you’re just restoring the employee’s purchasing power. And in these circumstances, we all find ourselves in, we all know that what we take can never get us home or back to the market. Workers are really suffering under the current conditions in which we find ourselves.
At the micro level, some of the prices at which workers actually bought their products increased by 50-60-70% in some cases. So organized labor has a lot of work to do and I am very sure in my mind that labor groups in Ghana will in fact demand their due. That I think no one can actually stop workers from claiming their due,” he added.
Dr Yankson’s comments followed an earlier presentation by National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) President Angel Carbonu, who also highlighted the need for an upward adjustment in the incomes of public sector workers.
According to him, this will go a long way in alleviating the plight of public sector workers in the face of growing economic difficulties. He lamented the fall in the value of the Cedi; claiming that the constant depreciation of the Cedi is among the reasons for the high cost of living in the country.
The NAGRAT chairman also added that his outfit supported calls to raise wages for public sector workers by at least a 19% margin.
“NAGRAT is part of organized work. This negotiation is led by the unions. We are actively involved in the negotiation and we are very keen that the salary increase this year does not fall below the rate of inflation,” he stressed.
Responding to the question whether or not the government has the means to meet their demand, Mr. Carbonu said that he was not convinced of the government’s response to the current economic challenges, and therefore he and his colleagues will support the decision to increase their income in 19 years. % or 20%.
“The difficult situation that the government is going to explain during the negotiations is no different from what is being touted on the radio. My belief is in the fact that I can hardly make ends meet,” said Mr. Carbonu.
Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah said the government is not against any opportunity that will improve conditions for workers in the country.
Speaking to Samson Lardy Anyenini, the host of Newsfile on Saturday, he said the government would continue to engage relevant stakeholders until all wage concerns are fully resolved.
“The workers in Ghana have played a very crucial role in bringing our country to the levels and the state we are in, and as a government we very much appreciate the role of the workers, and we will continue to do our best to improve wages and benefits conditions for workers in Ghana.
The good book said the worker is worth his wages. So whatever we can all do to make the Ghanaian worker a happier worker is also a goal of the government,” he said.
According to him, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the country’s productivity, a situation that has had a negative impact on state resources.
He noted that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) demand for an upward wage adjustment is legitimate, “except that, as you know, we will all have to understand the reality of what we are all facing and see what what we can do.
The reality too is that sometimes the resources available do not allow the government to reach the levels that workers can expect the government to be able to do”.
The MP for Ejisu acknowledged that one of the factors responsible for the current difficulty is the lack of adequate revenue and limited fiscal space.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has pushed the government to adjust workers’ basic wages to meet rising levels of inflation, which they say makes it difficult for them to meet their basic needs.
Addressing a pre-May Day labor forum in Accra on April 20, TUC General Secretary Dr Anthony Yaw Baah said it’s no secret that many workers’ pay is poor for many years claiming that Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukrainian crisis could not take the blame.
“Indeed, a decline in exchange rates leads to a frequent increase in the prices of goods and services since most of these products are imported with foreign currencies. This phenomenon affects the value of workers’ compensation.
Inflation is another problem – the prices of goods and services are rising, so if wages are not adjusted to reflect these phenomena, workers will continue to struggle. The jobs crisis did not start with Ukraine.
It predates the Ukrainian war; it came before Covid-19 and therefore we think it is not fair to blame the Ukraine war and Covid-19 for every job crisis we have in this country,” did he declare.