Government must negotiate with labour unions over their salaries – Bokpin

government must negotiate with labour unions over their salaries bokpin
Godfred Bokpin

A Finance lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) has urged government to engage labour unions over their salary and allowance concerns.

Prof Godfred Bokpin says such stakeholder discussions must lead to full disclosure of roadmaps and interventions being implemented by the state to alleviate the plights of public and private workers.

He stated that although the country does not have the fiscal space to address all these challenges, there could be some adjustments that the government would want to do by engaging with labour.

Speaking to Samson Lardy Anyenini on Newsfile on Saturday, he said the failure to engage and reach consensus over the current situations may dwindle productivity.

“You also have to look at what the economy can afford; whether the government has the fiscal space to be able to load on all of that…that will be very helpful rather than just saying that let’s strictly use the inflation, let’s say 19 points so per cent and all of that,” he said.

This comes after the Trades Union Congress (TUC) pushed government to adjust workers’ basic salary to meet the rising levels of inflation, something they say is making it difficult for them to meet their basic needs.

But Prof Bokpin says realistic considerations should be made to ensure the state is able to meet demands of organised labour because the economic outlook beyond this year is likely to decelerate.

The economist noted that the blame of poor remuneration and economic challenges on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and Covid-19 is not the true reflection of issues because “if you also look at this, you see that though external factors are pushing some of these things, the bulk of that is also a reflection of domestic policy failure.”

“What makes it a bit difficult for government right now is because of how they pressed the fiscal accelerator in the Covid times.

“The Covid spending took the deficit to a high level because we were just coming from one crisis or the other – from energy crisis, financial sector crisis, and then we walked straight into the pandemic,” he stated.

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