Saturday, May 30, 2009

Single Spine Salary Structure broadly acceptable- Minister

The Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Stephen Amoanor Kwao on Friday stated that it is crystal clear that the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) is no longer a debatable issue. He said the emerging consensus was that the policy is broadly acceptable and should be implemented while efforts are made to address concerns and problems.Speaking at a stakeholder consultative workshop held in Accra on Friday on the SSPP, he noted that the spirit of social dialogue exhibited by stakeholders demonstrated the commitment of both government and Organised Labour towards the implementation of the SSPP. "Let me emphasize that to engender success and ownership of the new pay policy, this common commitment should be enduring," he said, adding that, the commitment should enjoin all stakeholders to be placed on the spine without the choice of opting out. The Minister noted that there were a number of unresolved issues relating to job grading, replacement and service clarification and appealed to other unions and associations that had not yet submitted their written submissions so that a thorough appraisal of the concerns raised may be addressed.He said there would be a staged implementation approach towards resolving the concerns and issues raised at the workshop. "It is clear from the deliberations that, as we continue on our journey to implementing the Single Spine, we should open wage negotiations for 2009 to ensure workers do not unduly suffer while mechanisms and processes are put in place to implement the SSPP," he said.He asked the Fair Wages Commission (FWSC) to begin salary negotiations next week Monday for this year, urging stakeholders to take into account the prevailing economic conditions "to ensure that the outcome of the negotiations is consistent with our drive to restore macroeconomic stability."He said that the road map for the SSPP has been developed by the Technical Committee and made available to be discussed dispassionately, taking into account the Vice President's reference to the previous policy formulation and implementation of the VAT in the 1990s. He pledged government's commitment towards implementing a joint sensitization and public awareness education programme to deepen the understanding of stakeholders and the public on the SSPP. He said there was the need to resource the FWSC to deliver on its mandate and promised it would receive the desired and immediate attention of government."While this is being done, let us collectively recognize the central role of the FWSC in this new pay administration arrangement," the Minister told the stakeholders and urged them to relate with the Commission well.

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