Some Public sector workers in Tema on have called for rapid review downward of the salaries and emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders to reflect the current economic situation in the country.
They argued that “the current state of the economy given COVID-19 challenges makes it appropriate to call on Article 71 Office Holders to sacrifice for all Ghanaians”.
In a random interview, some of them suggested that salaries and emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders should be reduced by 50 per cent, while the salaries of workers increased between 25 to 50 per cent to make up for the short-fall in remuneration.
Madam Catherine Dagadu, a social worker told the Ghana News Agency at Tema that, “politicians claim to be serving Ghanaians that is why they contest for elections, but unfortunately their actions in power suggest that they are not serving us but themselves, it is an error which must be corrected”.
“The same people after fixing huge salaries for themselves turn round and call on workers to tighten their belts, how come it is only the worker who should suffer, when they are giving car loans to Parliamentarians among others,” she noted.
Mr Robert Oduro Mensah, who has spent over 25 years as a public sector worker noted that, the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) has failed the Ghanaian worker, “you do not go to the negotiating table and allow the Government to bully you with threats of lay-offs and come out with virtually nothing in hand.
“The Ghanaian worker has suffered for years, we must claim our due, it is time for labour unions, to work together to demand our rightful compensations not the pocket to mouth salaries, labour unions must use their power,” he stated.
Mr James Owusu Appiah, a medical practitioner also called on unions to maximize their collective power to negotiate for better and enhanced remunerations for workers.
“Apart from the poor salaries and other allowances, most public workers are forced to work in bad environments, with obsolete tools, with some using colonial tables and chairs while the Article 71 Office Holders live in affluence in the office, cars, at home all from the same public purse which they claimed cannot sustain the worker,” he said.
Other workers also expressed the same sentiments and called on the TUC and other labours unions to reopen salary negotiations for 2021 immediately.
As per the 1992 Constitution, Article 71 Office Holders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court.
Others are Members of Parliament, Ministers of State, political appointees and public servants with salaries charged to the Consolidated Fund but enjoying special constitutional privileges.
Article 71 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that the determination of the salaries and allowances of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary paid from the Consolidated Fund would be determined by the President, on the recommendations of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by him and acting upon the advice of the Council of State.
In determining the salaries of the President, his Ministers and political appointees, as well as the members of the Council of State, the Constitution states that Parliament will determine that based on the advice of the same committee.