The National Tripartite Committee (NTC) has concluded negotiations on the 2014 National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW).
According to a communiqué issued after the conclusion of consultations in Accra on Friday, the NTC has agreed that effective May 1, 2014, the NDMW be increased by 14.5 per cent from GH¢ 5.24 to GHC6.00 and be exempted from tax.
The NTC, the communiqué says, has, therefore, directed all establishments, institutions and organisations whose daily minimum wages are below the new NDMW to adjust their wages upward accordingly.
The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey signed the communiqué for government while Mr Terrence Darko and Mr Kofi Asamoah signed for the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), respectively.
In addition to the upward adjustment to the NDMW, negotiations have also been concluded on Public Sector Wage Adjustment (PSWA).
By an agreement signed by Mr George Smith-Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) for and on behalf of government and Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of the TUC for and on behalf of Organised Labour, a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) will be paid in lieu of an increase in the Base Pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure.
The COLA, according to the agreement, which will represent 10 per cent of the 2013 Basic Salary, took effect from May 1, 2014.
Negotiations for the PSWA were concluded between the Public Services Joint Negotiating Committee (PSISNC), comprising Government, represented by the FWSC, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on the one hand, and Organised Labour, on the other hand.
Addressing a news conference on the outcome of the negotiations in Accra, yesterday, the Chairman of the NTC, Hon. Ashietey, said in arriving at the NDMW, the committee took into consideration inflationary trends, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the ability by Employers to pay.
Hon. Ashietey said in negotiations such as these, dialogue, co-operation and collaboration were better choices than confrontation.
For his part, Mr Asamoah noted that minimum wages did not necessarily respond directly to the cost of living, adding that what the NTC succeeded in doing was to set a benchmark or a safety net in accordance with international law.
In his remarks, Mr Darko noted that a daily national wage was meant to protect the vulnerable in society.
Mr Darko said some employers were equally vulnerable; hence the need to strike a balance in determining the minimum wage, adding that there could not be a minimum wage without productivity.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper said with the conclusion of negotiations, public sector pay rationalisation had been smoothly implemented.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)