Accra, Sept. 30, GNA - Public Sector workers whose salaries increased following their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) would receive two months of their arrears in October.
Dr George Smith-Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, (FWSC) who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on Thursday, explained that though the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning wrote a letter to the Controller and Accountant General’s Office (CAGD) to pay the arrears with the September salary, the payments could not be effected.
He said information from the Accountant General's Department indicated that the Ministry’s directive arrived at a time when the September salaries had already been processed, therefore, the payments could not be made.
Dr Smith-Graham, however, explained that the Ministry was yet to give its response on the inability of the CAGD to pay the arrears.
He said the Minister may go with the decision to add the arrears to the October salaries or give a new directive that would result in an earlier payment.
The implementation date for the Single Spine Salary is January 1, 2010.
On the payment of the arrears arising from the 20 per cent salary increase across board for public sector workers, announced last August by the Government, but effective January 1 2011, he explained that the Joint Standing Negotiating Committee would meet next week with the Finance Ministry to negotiate the payment modalities.
Beneficiaries , however, received their adjusted salaries for the September pay.
In June 2007, an Act of Parliament (Act 737, 2007) established FWSC to ensure fair, transparent and systematic implementation of the government public service pay policy.
In furtherance of this, the Government in November, 2009, published a White Paper on the policy, detailing its plans for the implementation of the policy, which aims at addressing disparities, distortions and restoring equity in the pay structure.
Ultimately, the Government seeks to bridge the gap between public and private sector salaries to attract and retain high calibre workers to maximise productivity.
The implementation would, however, be in phases over a five-year period with the first six-months of the process being used to tackle the teething challenges and some persistent technical problems to ensure that the policy did does not re-introduce inequities which it was designed to address.
Asked why the government did not pay the relevant arrears from the adjusted salaries immediately after the organisations were migrated since accumulating them may be too huge and present payment challenges, Dr Smith Graham explained that effecting payment on that basis would have been difficult because the total arrears of beneficiaries could not be determined for budgetary and other important considerations.
Additionally, he said, it would have created more anxiety and agitations among those who were yet to be migrated.
Dr Smith-Graham, however, said after about 60 per cent coverage of the migration process, the Government could now anticipate the total arrears involved, noting that it was very huge.
He said currently about 45 institutions had been migrated onto the SSSS and expressed the hope that all stakeholders would actively play their respective roles to ensure the speedy migration of all the other relevant organisations.