The government, labour and employers have, for the past two days, been locked up in negotiations on a new minimum wage and an adjustment in public sector pay.
As of the time of going to press, information reaching the Daily Graphic indicated that members of the Tripartite Committee were engaged in heated negotiations without any agreement in sight over the two items on the table.
However, other sources indicated that the government had agreed to offer a 14.5 per cent upward adjustment in the minimum wage from the present GH¢5.25 to GH¢6.01.
Regarding public sector pay, our information is that the government is unwilling to commit to an adjustment in pay increase but to provide a cost of living allowance (COLA) of five per cent to cushion workers for the increases in petroleum product and utility tariffs.
A source close to the meeting said the government proposal for the COLA for public sector workers was rejected.
Our information later said the government and labour had aggreed to a 10 per cent COLA for public sector workers. Ultimatum
At a pre-May Day forum in Tema, organised labour gave the government a four-day ultimatum to increase the minimum wage or face its wrath.
It said it would advise itself if negotiations on the increment of the minimum wage were not concluded before May 1.
Addressing workers in Tema, the TUC Secretary General, Mr Kofi Asamoah, demanded that all negotiations on the minimum wage and the base pay be completed before the May Day celebration.
“We are sending a strong signal out there. We cannot afford this high cost of living with the current wages and salaries,” he said.
Three other unions — the Ghana Medical Association, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union and the Ghana Federation of Labour — later added their voices to demands for an immediate increase in the minimum wage and the base pay.
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