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Why are CEOs of loss-making SOEs earning salaries 3 times higher than that of the President? - TUC

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Why are CEOs of loss making SOEs earning salaries 3 times higher than that of President? - TUC
Why are CEOs of loss making SOEs earning salaries 3 times higher than that of President? - TUC

Organised Labour has questioned why Chief Executives and heads of some loss making State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are earning salaries that are three times higher than that of even the President of Ghana.

Addressing the 2022 May Day parade at the Black Star Square in Accra on Sunday, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah speaking on behalf of Organised Labour appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that the reward system in the entire public service, including emoluments for Article 71 office holders and the top management of SOEs was totally overhauled.

He argued that in 2021 and 2022, when public sector workers were given just 4 per cent and 7 per cent pay increases, some state-owned enterprises actually awarded themselves over 25 per cent salary increase even though their salaries are already much higher than workers on the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP), and they did so without clearance from the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) as required by Act 737.

"Chief Executives and top management of SOEs are using public funds to pay themselves very fat salaries and allowances because they know they will not be held accountable," he said.

The low level of salaries and the pay inequalities have very serious implications for workers not only when they are in active service but also when they retire, he added.

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Dr Baah recalled that at the 2022 Labour conferene held at Nkwatia in Kwahu, which was graced by President Akufo-Addo and the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, "social partners agreed that the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) should be reviewed and a technical committee has since been constituted to review the policy."

He urged the committee to present its report before the end of June 2022 so that pay increases can be factored into the 2023 national budget.

He said they expect the committee to address key challenges that have hindered the effective implementation of the SSPP.

The first challenge has to do with the low levels of pay for workers. "Some public sector workers on the Single Spine are actually receiving salaries as low as 
GH¢415 a month. This is woefully inadequate for any meaningful life in this difficult times. One of the main objectives of Single Spine was to ensure fairness in the reward system in the public service [but] after 12years of implementation of the policy, pay differential in the public service has actually worsened. We now have a situation where some junior officers in some public service institutions, especially those that are not on the Single Spine are earning much higher than senior officers on the Single Spine structure. Workers on the Single Spine structure are receiving lowest salaries compared to their counterparts on other salary structures in the public service."

"The highest salary on the Single Spine now is GH¢7000 per month but some heads of public sector institutions earn over four times this salary. This is not the right thing to do. Infact there are some heads of state-owned enterprises who are earning over three times the salary of the President of the Republic, even though some of the SOEs are making huge losses. Why should a Chief Executive Officer who is managing a loss making state-owned enterprise receive over three times the salary of the President of the country who is managing the entire country, why?

Again in 2021 and 2022, when public sector workers were given just 4 per cent and 7 per cent, some state-owned enterprises actually awarded themselves over 25 per cent salary increase even though their salaries are already much higher than workers on the Single Spine, and they did so without clearance from Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) as required by Act 737.

Chief Executives and top management of SOEs are using public funds to pay themselves very fat salaries and allowances because they know they will not be held accountable.

Organised Labour therefore appealed to President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the reward system in the entire public service, including emoluments for Article 71 office holders and the top management of SOEs is totally overhauled.

The low level of salaries and the pay inequalities have very serious implications for workers not only they are in active service but also when they retire. Currently a significant number of pensioners are receiving the minimum pension of just GH¢300 per month compared to someone on the same pension scheme who is receiving GH¢142,000 a month. I mean, the lowest monthly pension as a ratio of the highest monthly pension is 1:475... this is not right and it must be fixed. Nearly 60 percent of all pensioners on social security receive less than GH¢1000 per month and approximately 90 per cent receive less than GH¢2000 per month when somebody is receiving GH¢142,000 a month. Life is very very tough retirees in Ghana, especially for those who retire ," he said. 

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