Public sector workers pay increase good, but……

For the first time in a long while, the government has announced a 10 per cent salary increase for public sector workers, which is commendable.

The new wage increase, announced on Friday,and which is expected to become effective in January next year, is the result of a new initiative adopted by the government and Organised Labour.

What it means is that the two have agreed to 10 per cent increase in the base salary onthe Single Spine Pay Policy for 2016.

This, indeed, is a proactive step taken by the  government and Organised Labour to negotiate Public Sector Salaries for the following year.

It is noteworthy that this has never happened before, and the Times is delighted that this new way of negotiating salaries was a success.

We, therefore, commend the two organisations for achieving this laudable feat in good time, to aid national planning.

What excites us is that the agreement would enable the government to input the projected increase in next year’s budget for the  fiscal year.

“The new agreement would allow for effective planning and enable the Minister of Finance to incorporate it into the 2016 budget estimates to Parliament for approval”, the Employment Minister Haruna Idrisu was  reported to have said when he announced  the new wage increase after the meeting.

The agreement, no doubt, shows the governments commitment in the tackling workers welfare issues.

However, we want to bring to the attention of government that there are other categories of workers on the government pay roll whose welfare issues must also be handled with the same dispatch.

These category of workers have agitated and threatened to strike or are on strike, yet their problems persist.

The country has already witnessed several industrial actions during the year, over welfare issues and the threat of more strikes loom.

The new strategy adopted by the government and Organised Labour means that they could approach others in the same way and resolve them before the workers hit the street.

We urge the government and Labour Unions to adopt such innovative ways to deal with labour issues to prevent the yearly rituals of strikes and agitations.

We commend the Employment Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, and the Secretary General of TUC, Kofi Asamoah, for the   historic feat.

We hope that workers would also reciprocate this gesture and always use dialogue to resolve their differences with government.

Dialogue, and not strikes, yield results.

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