The National Tripartite Committee (NTC) yesterday announced a National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) of GH¢9.60, which is to take effect from January 1, 2018.
The new NDMW is a 10 per cent increase over last year’s, which was pegged at GH¢8.80.
The NDMW is the least wage below which no employer pays a worker in Ghana.
Announcing the increase after deliberations of the NTC in Accra, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, thanked all the social partners for their collaboration in getting the wage set by July.
“I have checked the records and it is unprecedented for the NDMW to be set by July,” he said.
He said the NTC, in its deliberations, took into consideration the challenge thrown to all workers by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during this year’s May Day celebrations, for productivity to be improved.
In line with that, the minister said, about six years after the introduction of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), the pay policy would be reviewed to look at the gaps that needed to be strengthened.
He also said the NTC had also deliberated on pensions and how to guard workers’ benefit at retirement.
The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah, for his part, said workers had agreed to the 10 per cent wage increase because projections from the Ministry of Finance showed that inflation would be below 10 per cent next year.
“If inflation is even at 8.2 per cent, it will mean a gain for workers,” he said.
He said labour would be happy to engage in further deliberations on improving wages and productivity in the country.
Dr Baah appealed to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to resource the Labour Department for its officials to better supervise adherence to the new NDMW by employers.
He also expressed his appreciation to the social partners over discussions on pensions and was hopeful that all partners would work together to resolve all issues.
The President of the Ghana Employers Association (GEA), Mr Terrence Darko, in his comments, said the NTC had focused on the vulnerable in fixing the new wage.
He asked all Ghanaians to bear in mind that salary negotiations at the enterprise level depended on how well the institution was doing.
That is particularly when all were trying to stabilise the economy, after the difficulties of the past years, he added.
A communique issued after the meeting and signed by Mr Awuah on behalf of the government, Mr Darko on behalf of the GEA and Dr Baah on behalf of labour unions, directed all institutions whose NDMW was below the newly set wage to adjust their wages with effect from January 2018.
“Any establishment, institution or organisation that flouts the new rate shall be sanctioned in accordance with law,” it said.
“The NTC wishes to reiterate its commitment to the improvement of incomes and productivity in both the public and the private sectors of Ghana’s economy,” it said.
The NDMW is set by the NTC, headed by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. Other members are five representatives each from all the social partners (the government, employers and labour).
The NDMW rate applies to all in Ghana, except some free trade zone enclaves.
In accordance with the law, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations has to publish the announced NDMW in the Gazette or in any such public media as he may determine for it to become effective.
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