It has come to the notice of Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana ADAM-GH and Coalition Against Leadership of TUC and Organized Labour that the recent interview granted the Secretary General of TUC Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah on city Tv/ Fm by Bernard Avele where he made some very unfortunate comments which necessitates our response.
We will first of all like to commend the renowned journalist Bernard Avele for his Professional work and asking very brilliant questions in his interview.
From the projections of ADAM-GH, inflation of 2022 is likely to hit 28 percent by December.
It is very unfortunate Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah came out to warn the government that workers would not accept anything less than the current inflation rate of 19.4% and this shows clearly how clueless Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah and his team at TUC are.
Last year 2021 inflation was projected by Ghana statistical service to be 8% by the end of 2021 unfortunately the inflation rate was 12% by December 2021. When Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah cluelessly negotiated for 7% and the inflation ended up hitting 12%, it actually disadvantaged those Dr. Baah was representing.
Now we are in April 2022 and already our inflation is 19.4% if you add the arrears of 5% which resulted from the failure of TUC to have met the 12% inflation rate of 2021, it means TUC should not be talking about anything less than 25% salary increment for 2023.
Now per ADAM-GH projection of 28% of inflation by the end of December 2022, TUC can not go to the negotiation table this year with anything less than 35% salary increment for 2023.
It is high time TUC engages competent consultants who can give them accurate projections and dynamics that are likely to affect workers in Ghana before they jump to the negotiation table.
Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah and his TUC cluelessness is costing workers so much in the country, derailing efforts put on by his predecessor elevating workers from extreme poverty to the stage he took over and retrogressing the gains of his predecessor.
Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah cautioning the government that workers would not take anything less than the current inflation rate of 19.4% means he has failed Ghanain workers ahead of negotiation.
There are two possibility that is making Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah and his team at TUC exhibiting this gross incompetence: either they are clueless or perhaps have been compromised and any of these is a big blow to workers in Ghana.
If Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah is saying members of Coalition Against Leadership of TUC and Organized Labor together with ADAM-GH team who spoke against the 4% and 7% salary increment in 2021 and 2022 do not understand the dynamics it means he has been compromised and is therefore not ready to listen to workers who he claim to be representing.
First of all we want to find out whether Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah is an independent thinker ??
Is he a government spokesperson or does he represent the Trade Union Congress ?
What is his role and job description as well as those of his Executives at TUC..??
Did I hear Dr. Yaw Anthony saying TUC does not go to the negotiations table to dictate for the Government?
Do TUC go to the negotiation table to beg the government or ask the government to exercise its Executive powers to determine workers salary?
Since when did the labor front become a begging tool and expecting the government to exercise its discretion?
Did I also hear Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah saying in the interview that he accepted the 4% and 7% with hope that the president will use his own discretion and Executives powers to offer certain allowances as he did to the covid-19 front line workers?
He further said he accepted the 4% due to the government’s promise to employ one (1) million youth within three (3) years?
How many youth have been employed out of the 1,000000 promised for the past two years?
He said one of the reasons for accepting the 4% was because the government promised to vaccinate all workers with covid-19 vaccines?
I now fully understand why workers’ lives have been so miserable under the leadership of Dr Yaw Anthony Baah as TUC boss.
Does Baah or the TUC have the powers to just ask H:E the President of the Republic to use his Executive powers to adjust the salary of workers?
As a leader of TUC who is supposed to effectively communicate the concerns of workers that he leads must make the necessary demands to relieve workers from serious financial burden.
Was exercising Executive powers or discretionary powers to increase salaries part of negotiation at the tripartite committee ?
If negotiations of workers salary is all about allowing the president to use his Executive/discretionary powers to top up workers salary anytime he wants then why are you sitting at the TUC taking workers’ monthly dues ?
Is the role of the TUC or their mandate not to negotiate with the employer on behalf of employees who TUC represent?
….WHAT IS THE MEANING OF NEGOTIATIONS?
Workers have appointments or contracts with the government or their employers if you have no NEGOTIATION SKILLS, you have no business involving yourself in their representation.
If Dr Baah thinks he has the power to ask the President to use his Executive powers to adjust Workers salaries then, he equally can make other more reasonable suggestions to the President on behalf of his members whose taxes also pay members of GOVERNMENT.
Dr. Yaw Anthony Baah seems not to know his mandate as the leader of the workers and their representative having the full backing of the labor force. What is Baah afraid of if he has not been compromised?
To keep workers in employment instead of retrenchment or declaring REDUNDANCY, Baah could suggest to the government to prune down numbers of Article 71 officers or cut down salaries of this category of officers whose salaries and allowances are skyrocketing. Rather he chose to accept a paltry 4% and 7% salary increases of workers who earn the minimum to average salaries and rather overlooked the increase of article 71 office holders who already earn higher salaries and yet increase theirs to 79%.
Dr Baah could make or advance his argument strongly in favor of workers if he did not compromise his position.
If workers salaries are part of the Annual Plan of Work and Budget (APWB) of a government, organization or employer, what is the average range of salaries of the 700,000 workers that Baah referred to as having been saved from losing their jobs as against the call for substantial and more meaningful increases in their salaries??
Why didn’t Dr. Baah negotiate for Retrenchment or Redundancy packages as against the 4% and allow workers to choose one?
There are a few options Dr. Baah should have suggested if he really had the interest of the workers he represented at heart.
COLA is an emergency measure to shore up the incomes of workers to reduce the negative impact or effects of a sudden or unexpected downturn in the economy. So you ask for COLA to be paid to your membership while you continue to negotiate for the increases in salaries especially when the government shows signs of reluctance in yielding to your request.
Azubila Emmanuel Abdul-Salam,
Executive Secretary of Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH).
Contact: 0544418072 / 0507629533
Coalition Against Leadership of TUC and Organized Labor.