Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta stands next to Stephane Roudet, IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, during a news conference in Accra, Ghana December 13, 2022. REUTERS/Cooper Inveen/File Photo
General Secretary of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Dr. David Tenkorang-Twum, says it is about time government showed a certain level of commitment towards the welfare of labour in the country.
He was speaking on the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund to limit wage increments and increase productivity as a strategy to consolidate the country’s fiscal policy under the IMF programme.
According to Dr. Tenkorang-Twum, labour – in accordance with government’s burden sharing mantra – has had to make several concessions in support of government’s IMF programme bid.
However, in the face of ever rising inflation and cost of living, the little gains that had been achieved during the last salary negotiations have all been eroded.
To this end, Dr. Tenkorang-Twum noted that another call from government to burden share will not be heeded by labour who he says “have already shared enough.”
“I was present in the recent negotiations and labour had to make a lot of concessions because of this same adjective of sharing the burden. We have shared enough burden and we think that this is the time for government to show some commitment if he wants productivity as spelt out in the document to go up.
“Because a demotivated workforce will certainly impact adversely on productivity so my understanding is not different. But when we get to the bridge we shall cross it.
“We want to send a very strong signal to government [that] as much as we want to share the burden we have already shared enough and it’s up to them to show a certain level of commitment if they want productivity to shore up so that we can grow the economy out of this quagmire that we find ourselves,” he said.
Dr. Tenkorang-Twum had also warned that should the government attempt to reduce the salaries of workers, it would have to brace itself for a showdown.
“We know that the government is very much aware that the recent hike in inflation has certainly eroded whatever gains made during the last negotiations and they should brace themselves for a possible showdown if any attempt is made as it were to reduce salaries of workers.
“I know that will not happen, no government will ever do that and they’re very much aware. But for now we’re observing,” he said.
The Executive Board of IMF on Wednesday, May 17 approved a programme for Ghana. Subsequently, a first tranche – $600 million – of the $3 billion was credited to Ghana’s bank account.
The funds will be used for the balance of payment and budget support, as well as to stabilize the foreign exchange rate and control inflation.
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