Some Members of Parliament have described as justified, calls by organized labour for government to pay the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
Speaking to JoyNews on Tuesday, the MPs, said the current rate of inflation – almost 30% compared to the past – 12% have rendered the wages of the organised labour ‘useless’, adding that “their take-home pay cannot take them home.”
The MPs are: Sagnarigu MP, ABA Fuseini, Madina MP, Francis Xavier Sosu, Akatsi North MP, Peter Nortsu Kotoe and MP for Anlo, Richard Kwame Sefe.
The 20 percent of base pay allowance, according to labor unions, is to cushion workers from the prevailing high cost of living.
Four teacher unions are currently on strike over their demand for the 20 percent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
The unions comprise the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT).
Also, Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Public Sector Workers Union (PSWU) are demanding the same.
They further noted that “the demand by the labour front are evidence of the continuous hardship that we find ourselves in.”
“You have a rising cost of living and yet it doesn’t correspond with payment to labour. Unfortunately, government has not been able to show leadership in that regard,” they said.
The MPs said, government can come up with programmes such as a cut down in its expenditure, salaries and allowances to show leadership and encourage the teacher unions.
According to the MPs, the labour situation persists because the government has not come to the negotiation table with anything in hand.
“Your workers are on strike, they are making demand, at least you should go and tell them, “this is what I can offer.” Once no offers have been made, it will be difficult for the teacher unions to call off the strike,” he said.
They, however, made a plea to the teacher unions on strike to be flexible in their demand.