Implementation of unemployment insurance scheme must be swift – TUC

Dr. Yaw Baah, TUC Sec. General

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has pledged its unflinching support to the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme announced by the Finance Minister last year but wants its swift implementation.

The insurance scheme formed part of government’s efforts to address the impact of covid-19 as there had been many job losses due to the novel coronavirus.

Last year, the Finance Minister, announced an insurance scheme for employees that may suffer job losses as part of the post coronavirus recovery plan.

Government had projected about 7 to 10% unemployment rate in the country this year, a situation, the Labour Union urged government to swiftly conclude the process for the scheme before the end of the first quarter, to commence operation.

The TUC also expects a pay increase for all public sector workers to be captured in the budget and economic policy.  The Budget is expected to be presented to parliament in March this year. Ghana’s minimum wage has been hovering around 2 dollars a day over the last decade.

“For obvious reasons we have not been able to negotiate increases in the National Daily Minimum Wage and the Base Pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure for public sector workers for 2021.”

Last year the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in a report said the country’s minimum wage will go up by 11 percent to GHc11, 82 pesewas; a figure the TUC is expecting to go up further in the next budget statement.

The TUC has already written to the Employment and Labour Relations, requesting the National Tripartite Committee meeting to commence negotiation of the national minimum wage for this year to pave way for the negotiation of base pay.

“We expect the negotiation of the national minimum wage and base pay for 2021 to be concluded before the National Budget is presented to Parliament in March 2021 this year”, the TUC said.