This statement is being issued in reaction to a recent press statement by the National Executive Committee of the Civil and Local Government staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) on page 47 of the Friday, February 3, 2012 edition of the Daily Graphic.
MIGRATION OF ACCOUNTING CLASS
The said press statement indicated that “the Accounting Class and the Internal Auditors within the Civil and Local Government Services, the Non Formal Division of the Ministry of Education and some of our members within the Lands Commission have not been migrated.”
That emphatic statement, whiles unfortunate, is misinformed, misleading and not factual. As at 21st October 2011, the Accounting Class had been migrated onto the Single Spine Salary Structure as per the Commission’s letter No. FWSC/D/SCR.30/Vol.1/13. Please visit the Commission’s official facebook page “Fair Wages and Salaries Commission” or twitter page “@Fairwages” for a copy of this letter yielding evidence to this accomplishment.
The statement also alleged that “The Top-Up Allowance introduced to mitigate negative and insignificant changes as was done for other public service institutions as a result of the hype of expectations among public officers has not been applied to the CLOGSAG members.”
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission wishes to inform the general public, and in particular CLOGSAG leadership that in the Commission’s scheme of work, there is no allowance by name Top-Up. This is completely alien to the Single Spine Pay Policy.
In fact, all the allowances to be considered under the Single Spine Pay Policy have been categorised into four (4) groups and are all well known to the stakeholders. Among these allowances, there is no such thing as Top-Up Allowance. It is therefore absolutely false to state that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has paid a top-up allowance to some institutions. The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission is encouraging the National Executive Committee of CLOGSAG to produce the names of the institutions they are referring to as having been paid Top-Up Allowance.
The Conversion difference payment arises when the employee’s basic salary under the Single Spine Salary Structure is lower than his/her existing basic salary prior to migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure. In order not to make an employee worse off, the difference between the employee’s Single Spine basic salary and his/her previous basic salary is paid to him/her as a Conversion Difference. In effect, the employee continues to receive the same basic gross salary as previously.
This is in tandem with the principle that no employee would be made worse off under the new Pay Policy. It is therefore not possible for any employee to receive a negative salary. There is sufficient evidence to show that some other employees in the Public Service are getting Conversion Difference and not only members of CLOGSAG.
DISTORTED SINGLE SPINE SALARY STRUCTURE
CLOGSAG’s statement also indicated that the Single Spine Salary Structure has been “distorted” because of the removal of overlaps from levels 21 to 25. This to CLOGSAG implies that the structure has been massaged to the disadvantage of their members.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission would like to state that, removal of overlaps cannot be said to disadvantage any Labour Union or Association. This is because all public service institutions including the Civil Service have their employees on these grades, and therefore, enjoy the benefits of the removal of overlaps.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission would also want to place on record that, the decision to remove the overlaps was discussed at the 11th meeting of the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) held on Thursday, August 5, 2010. At that meeting, it was decided that the Commission should try to remove all overlaps on the Single Spine Salary Structure within the 5-year implementation period of the new pay policy. It must also be noted that in 2011, two more overlaps were removed from level 19. This means that currently there are no overlaps from level 19 to 25 on the Single Spine Salary Structure.
Again CLOGSAG’s statement also indicated that the Commission is not operating a Single Spine Salary Structure because some sections of the Public Service are on a non-overlapping salary structure. The Commission’s response to this is that, at that same meeting held on August 5, 2010, the Rank-based salary structure for the Security Services was also discussed. It must be noted that, although the rank-based structure has no overlaps, the salary figures on the structure are the same as those of the Single Spine Salary Structure.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission would like to advise CLOGSAG to fully participate in meetings of the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) to be abreast with developments on the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure, because that is where major decisions on the Single Spine Salary Structure are taken collectively in the interest of Public Service employees.
We would wish at this point to appeal to the leadership of CLOGSAG to adhere to the RULING of His Lordship, Justice Edward A. Asante, Judge of the High Court, Accra, on the case: CLOGSAG versus NATIONAL LABOUR COMMISSION AND FAIR WAGES AND SALARIES COMMISSION dated Wednesday, April 20, 2011 which reads in part: “I also find that the setting up of the PSJSNC by the FWSC for the negotiation of the new pay policy by Trade Unions and Associations including the Applicant herein is not irrational or unreasonable but rather it is proper and the applicant is ordered to negotiate through the said umbrella body.”
Despite this Order by the High Court, CLOGSAG leadership has deliberately refused to attend stakeholders and PSJSNC meetings to voice out their thoughts. They prefer to champion the cause of their constituents from outside. The FWSC is and will always be committed to the great and dedicated workforce of this peaceful country of ours. We are doing our part. The National Executive Committee of CLOGSAG is also challenged to do theirs in the interest of their members. Our doors are always open for discourse and immediate redress.
Meanwhile, with wide open arms we invite CLOGSAG individual members to contact us themselves for any information for the way forward.
Dated at FWSC this 3rd day of February, 2012
[FWSC - PUBLIC AFFAIRS]