The Single Spine Pay Policy


Historical Background

Over the years, efforts by Governments on pay reforms and reviews have been undertaken with the goal of improving Public Service salaries and managing the recurring canker of disparities and inequities in the Pay Administration System.

Several attempts have been made to redress these problems which included reviews by the following Commissions and Committees:

    The Mills-Odoi Committee

    Issifu Ali Committee

    Justice Azu-Crabbe Commission

    Gyampoh Commission

    However, these efforts were short-lived because there was no permanent institution for managing public service pay.

    The Prices and Incomes Board (PIB) was established in 1972 under L.I. 119., under the Prices and Incomes Regulations, 1973, (L.I. 805), to vet and approve proposals brought to them through an institution’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). But by 1991, the PIB had become dysfunctional until the promulgations of the Fair Wages and Salaries Act (Act 737).

    The coming into effect of the 1992 constitution led to the detachment of direct service delivery components of most ministries to set up as separate services (The Internal Revenue Service, Customs, Education, Health etc.). This compounded the problem of pay disparity since these detached institutions developed grading and salary structures unique to them with no centralized monitoring or management of the consistency between their pay practices and the rest of the Civil Service.

    The Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS) was the first attempt at a comprehensive universal structure for the Public Services. This attempt at pay reform was to tackle distortions, inequities and low incomes that continued to persist within the Public Services. This resulted in the development of a comprehensive 22-Level Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS) in 1999. The coverage was for all public service institutions but the objective of universality underpinning the GUSS could not be realized, since some Public Service institutions were allowed to opt out without any sanctions being applied.

    Its failure could also be attributed to the fact that the Central Management Board and the Appellate Body that were to manage its implementation were not backed by any legal instrument and were also not adequately resourced. As a result, the Government introduced the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) in 2007.