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Journalists urged to be abreast of public sector emolument negotiations

 The Chief Execu­tive Officer (CEO) of the Fair Wages and Salaries Com­mission (FWSC), Mr Benjamin Arthur, has stressed the need for journalists to be abreast of public sector salary and emolument nego­tiations in order to properly inform the public in their reportage.

He said the lack of understand­ing and education on labour issues by the media on rules governing negotiations often made things difficult for the Commission when dealing with agitations for pay increase by labour.

Engaging senior editors on the operations of the Commission in Accra on Thursday, Mr Arthur said issues on salary negotiation were sensitive and technical, therefore crucial for the media to get their facts correct before reporting on them in order not to misinform the public and create tension in the country.

He explained that some public sector organisations resorted to demonstrations when negotiating with the Commission when they had not exhausted the mechanisms to address their concerns, which the media often reported on.

Mr Arthur said such acts were against the rules governing salary and emolument negotiations.

The CEO of FWSC further said some public sector organisations ac­cused the FWSC of not giving them hearing or audience on salary nego­tiations and emolument matters.

According to him, a public sector organisation could not engage the FWSC for salary negotiations when they did not have Collective Bar­gaining Certificate (CBC).

In this regard, Mr Arthur urged the media to quiz such public sector entities whether they had Collective Bargaining Certificate, when they approach them with stories on salary negotiation issues.

He said per laws of the Commis­sion it could not engage public sec­tor workers in banter in the media on issues of salary negotiations.

Mr Arthur said the doors of the Commission was opened to the public and the media and said the media should approach the com­mission for clarification on stories on emolument and salary negotia­tions they want to put out.

Responding to the issues of mea­suring productivity, the FWSC CEO said the Single Spine Pay Policy had mechanisms for measuring produc­tivity especially of senior officers.

He said a template had been developed in the public sector for score card to help in the perfor­mance evaluations of workers.

Touching on the national payroll monitoring exercise embarked upon by the FWSC in 2023, he said the exercise had received great response from the public sector workers.

He said the exercise which was in line with the FWSC Act 2007, Act 733, among others was to correct under payment of allowances and salaries, correct over payment of allowances and salaries and to generally clean the Government of Ghana payroll system and strike out employees who exited the public service but still on government payroll.

Mr Arthur said the objective was to save the country more than GH¢10 billion, adding that through the exercise, the FSWC saved the country about GH¢178 million.

“The total wage bill for May 2023 declined by six per cent and one per cent over month respec­tively for the months of July and August after the payroll monitoring exercise was implemented. This results in a GH¢178, 359,098.51 and GH¢18,447,396.30 savings for May and August respectively month over month,” he stated.

 KINGSLEY ASARE

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