The Executive Director, Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR), Mr Kojo Poku is making a case of the payment of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to private sector workers by their employers following the payment of the 15 per cent COLA to public sector workers by the government.
His comments come on the heels of the payment of ¢485 million as COLA to public sector workers by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) on Monday August 29.
The CAGD said “Pursuant to the approval given by the Ministry of Finance on 1st August 2022, following the Agreement signed between Government and Organized Labour on 14th July 2022, the Controller and Accountant-General has paid the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to workers in Public Service Institutions.
“The COLA which represents fifteen percent (15%) of the 2022 basic salary was paid for the months of July and August. The total amount paid for COLA for the two months is Four Hundred and Eighty-Five Million Ghana Cedis (GH¢485,000,000.00),” the statement said.
The Government and Organised Labour earlier reached a consensus over the cost of living allowance workers were been demanding since May.
At a crunch meeting held on Thursday, July 14, the two parties and their various representatives agreed on a 15 percent CoLA.
Commenting on this in a statement, Mr Kwadwo Poku explained that Ghanaians are employed by the government or private companies.
Though government is the biggest employer in Ghana, he said, the private sector which is the engine of growth, also employs thousands of people.
“The increase in commodity, food, utility and fuel prices has brought hardship to households across the country.
“Recently, the media space was awash with news of some government employees embarking on strikes to demand Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). Today, as I sat down in the cool of sober moments, I asked myself, has the Private sector companies increased salaries or given COLA to their workers? If the answer to this question is certainly no, then my next question is, why is it so?
“The media, journalists and outspoken middle class who work for these private companies are silent on their sufferings. Meanwhile, these are the same people that will speak on radio, TV and at their workplaces and drinking bars about how that the government is bringing them hardship. Why then can’t they demand any COLA from their private employers. I believe a good sword should cut both ways. When we say Ghanaian workers are suffering, we don’t mean only government workers but the entire working population,” he said in a statement.
He disclosed this to the Maakye Morning show host, Obuoba Ofori Amanfo on 5th September, 2022
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