Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, has expressed government’s commitment to prioritizing the minimum wages of employees.
Speaking in an interview, he disclosed that government after completion of negotiations will ensure workers are well off. He further expressed government’s interest in the welfare of workers.
His comments follow a meeting with the Tripartite Committee on Thursday. A technical committee was inaugurated at the meeting to put together a report on proposals for a daily minimum wage.
“The role of industry players in the determination of the national minimum wage is perhaps even more key than that of government. And we have committed ourselves to so many international protocols and have assured ourselves and the international community that we will accord the Ghanaian worker decent employment”.
Per the conclusion of the meeting, the technical committee has two weeks to submit its report to the Tripartite Committee. Afterwards, there will be subsequent discussions and conclusions on the minimum wage.
The discussion follows the inability of stakeholders to engage on wages last year due to the pandemic.
Discussions on technical committee report
Commenting on this development, the Employment’s Minister insisted that the submission of the report will expedite negotiations of wages.
Additionally, he averred that the committee will further negotiate on the report as it will not be the “final product”.
“The process is that we have to put in place a technical committee, which will consider all happenings within the economy; things like the inflation rate and the growth of the economy, and submit the report to us”.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, has expressed optimism that the process will not encounter any delays.
“As soon as he [the Minister] receives the report, he has assured us that he is going to reconvene the National Tripartite Committee meeting, then the processes of negotiation [can] start.”
“It is a very complex process, and we hope they will do a good job”.
National Tripartite Committee meeting
Interacting with the media after the first meeting, Mr. Baffour Awuah expressed the relevance of the minimum wage to government.
According to Mr. Awuah, the fifteen-member committee will provide recommendations to the Tripartite Committee. The outcome, he explained, will determine the National Minimum Wage for the year 2021.
“Minimum wage is not only critical to government but the private sector and employees as well and government alone cannot determine the national minimum wage…that is why we have a committee and members drawn from the relevant stakeholders.
“As we always do, we have selected the technical committee members and will be expecting their report in two weeks after which we will negotiate on their recommendations and come up with an agreed structure”.
In determining the daily minimum wage, the committee is expected to evaluate some economic factors and environmental conditions
The 2020 National Daily Minimum Wage was last adjusted in 2020 and it is currently pegged at GH¢11.82.
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