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Government pays GHC485 million as COLA to workers

The government has released an amount worth GHC485 million to pay for the monthly 15% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to public sector workers.

This was announced through the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) in a statement dated Monday, August 29, 2022.

In a statement, the CAGD said it made the payment pursuant to the approval given by the Ministry of Finance on 1 August 2022 following the agreement signed between the government and Organised Labour on 14 July 2022.

It said the COLA, which represents 15% of the 2022 basic salary, was paid for July and August.

COLA was demanded by four teacher unions: Ghana Nana Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT).

Other public sector unions that demanded it includes the Ghana Medical Association and Public Sector Workers Union.

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Background

The Public Sector Workers’ Union (PSWU) threatened to embark on an indefinite strike beginning on 19th July 2022.

According to the union, the government has failed to approve the Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) requested by the PSWU in March despite a follow-up in June.

A statement issued by the group and signed by its general secretary, Bernard Adjei, said the decision to embark on strike has become necessary because of the high cost of living and its subsequent impact on workers.

“It could also be recalled that as patriotic citizens and social partners in the development of Mother Ghana, organised labour groups, including the PSWU took the hard decision, to the chagrin of members, to accept a 4% and 7% salary increment respectively for 2021 and 2022.

“However, considering unfolding events such as relatively high salary increases for Article 77 and, related office holders and government expenditure patterns, we are worried that the sacrifices made by organized labour during the last negotiations have been taken for granted.

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“The over 27,000 workers within the over 65 public sector institutions that make up the PSWU feel the economic crunch in their pockets, with each passing day resulting in uncertainties of meeting basic needs.

“Obviously, a possible return to the IMF further complicates the economic uncertainties faced by public sector workers and flashes back memories of harsh labour policies that disadvantage the ordinary worker,” the PSWU statement said.

They explained that following an emergency meeting of the management committee and representatives from the over 65 institutions that make up the PSWU, their members were left with no choice but to embark on a strike effective Tuesday 19 July 2022 until our concerns are addressed.”

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Meanwhile, the government and organised labour agreed on a 15% cost of living allowance (COLA) to be paid to all members of the organised labour.

The agreement follows three days crunch meeting between the government and the leadership of the labour unions.

However, after fruitful talks on Thursday, July 14, 2022, both parties have agreed on a 15% COLA, effective from July 1, 2022, retrospectively.

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Source: Mondokayonline.com

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