The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, has stressed the need to “redesign” reward systems at workplaces to match the productivity of employees.
He said employers and employees had equal responsibility in ensuring high productivity and that there must be adequate incentives for employees to work efficiently. “There must be a way of incentivizing the individual worker to know that my contribution is key. What it means is that they must be recognized; they must be provided the opportunity for training, the opportunity to rise, among others,” he said.
Dr. Baah made the remarks on the sidelines of a National Roundtable Discussion on Living Wage organized Thursday in Accra by the United Nations Global Compact Network Ghana. The stakeholders’ discussion, which brought on board the Trades Unions Congress and the Ghana Employers Association, was to push the agenda of introducing a “living wage” in Ghana. “Living Wage” is explained as a pay rate that would allow a worker or household to afford necessities, such as housing, food, health care, and transportation, among others.
Dr Baah, speaking to the Ghana News Agency, noted that workers could not always be blamed for low productivity when employers did not provide the necessary tools and motivation for optimum output. He indicated that good working conditions and incentives made workers in other jurisdictions feel they were contributing to national development, but the narrative was not the same here in Ghana.
For that reason, he said, the TUC was interested in ensuring decent living conditions for workers, hence the effort by stakeholders to determine a living wage in the country after dialogue on the subject had stalled in previous years. He said wages were “quite low” in the public and private sector in Ghana, therefore, the ability to initiate a living wage in the country would be “a big progress”.
“You cannot have a decent life if you don’t have a decent wage so, a living wage is something dear to our hearts,” he said.
“There are some technical jobs that have to be finished. We started in 2005 and agreed on the definition and the formular. It won’t happen overnight; it is something we should agree to work towards.” According to him, once all the technical questions about living wage were answered, stakeholders would have to agree on the timelines to implement it.
Mr Tolu Kweku Lacrix, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Ghana, said decent living wages was important in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He noted that employees were the backbone of every economy. Therefore, it was important for them to have “a sustainable means of living’’.
‘’People are traveling overseas because they think there is a better life abroad. But in order to encourage the youth that there are opportunities here [in Ghana] it has to start from the foundation – the living wage,’’ he stated. He said the conversation would be extended to have key institutions arrive at a national living wage in due course. Participants at the session also highlighted the need for employers to
have succession plans and encourage employees to develop their skills to remain productive.
Source : GNA by Ernest Nutsugah