TUC calls for de-emphasising inflation-targeting policy to create job openings for the people
It said addressing the employment challenge would also require some direct intervention on the part of the government in providing jobs in important social sectors of the economy.
“Unfortunately, as part of the stabilisation policies, the government has continued to place a freeze on employment in the public sector. It is obvious that we need more teachers and health workers in the rural areas and more sanitation workers and police officers in the urban centres,” it said.
According to the TUC, the greatest challenge in Ghana now was the lack of employment opportunities for young people, but the budget statement had very little to say about how the government would help create employment on the scale required for a significant reduction in poverty.
Still on employment, it added its voice to the call for a review of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), saying its assessment of the programme in 2009 showed that those engaged in it were paid below the national daily minimum wage, had no access to social security and their allowances could delay, in some cases for more than six months.
It noted that the training component of the programme was so weak that its beneficiaries could not exit smoothly onto the regular labour market.
As part of the review, the TUC proposed that the government consider relocating GYEEDA to its natural home, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, since the programme was more about employment.
It urged civil society organisations to join hands with the TUC to put pressure on the government to adopt and implement policies that could create decent employment for Ghanaians, adding, “It is not normal for over two-thirds of our university graduates to be unemployed three years after graduation.”
It also urged the government to do whatever it took to bring interest rates down to reasonable levels.
On the Single Spine Pay Policy, it said the policy was on course following cooperation among the major social partners.
It stressed the need to highlight the benefits of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), as majority of public sector workers had benefited from it, coupled with the reduction in income gaps within and across public services.
Touching on the investment policy, it called for investments to be directed into sectors and areas that served the country’s purposes, saying the policy should not neglect the importance of domestic investments.
According to the TUC, something was fundamentally wrong with the economic policy being implemented in the country, for which reason it called for genuine dialogue on Ghana’s economic policy.