The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has demanded the implementation of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme pronounced by the Finance Minister last year.
According to the Union, a pay increase for all public sector workers is also expected to be captured in the budget and economic policy.
With the Budget anticipated to be presented to parliament in March this year, the country’s minimum wage has been around two dollars a day over the ten years.
Government had projected about 7 to 10% unemployment rate in the country this year, a situation, the Labour Union is urging government to swiftly conclude the process for the scheme before the end of the first quarter, to commence operation.
“For obvious reasons we have not been able to negotiate increases in the National Daily Minimum Wage and the Base Pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure for public sector workers for 2021.”
The Trade Union Congress has already formally written to the Employment and Labour Relations, requesting the National Tripartite Committee meeting to commence negotiation of the national minimum wage for this year to pave way for the negotiation of base pay.
“We expect the negotiation of the national minimum wage and base pay for 2021 to be concluded before the National Budget is presented to Parliament in March 2021 this year”.
The former Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffuor Awuah in September 2020, revealed that the government has instituted a Tripartite Technical Committee that will come out soon with modalities for implementing the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme.
Speaking at a press briefing, Mr. Baffuor Awuah said the scheme when operational will focus on providing direct income support to workers who will lose their jobs or suffer pay cuts in the event of a social or economic crises.
“The scheme would also offer opportunities for training, re-training, job search support, apprenticeship and internships to enable those who lose their jobs to re-adjust. It is expected to be a contributory scheme for workers”.
He further disclosed that the proposal is for the scheme to be managed by a National Unemployment Trust Fund with contributions from employers and workers.
The insurance scheme formed part of government’s efforts to address the impact of covid-19 as there had been many job losses due to the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has revealed that their establishment has officially written to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations requesting for a meeting of the National Tripartite Committee to commence the negotiation for an increase of the current national minimum wage which is “a paltry GHS319 per month” for 2021.
The Executive committee of Ghana’s Trades Union Congress intimated that its ability to negotiate increases in the national minimum wage, that is the lowest wage to be paid to an employee by law, will “pave way for the negotiation of base pay” on the Single Spine Salary Structure for public sector workers for 2021.
“We expect the negotiation of the national minimum wage and the base pay for 2021 to be concluded before the National Budget is presented to Parliament in March 2021,” TUC added.