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George Smith-Graham
George Smith-Graham

Public sector workers are paid wages above productivity level – Smith-Graham

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, George Smith-Graham has stated that workers are being paid minimum wages way above the national productivity level for the past 10 years.

According to the former Fair Wages CEO who was speaking on 3FM’s morning show, the Commission was approving higher minimum wage as a result of the lack of a proper system to check productivity levels.

“I left before I realized that we were giving national daily minimum wage far above the national productivity level. Over the last 10 years, we were always paying minimum wage far above the national productivity, and these are the critical things that need to address,” Smith-Graham stated.

He said there are technicalities used to measure the productivity level of a worker, and this ought to be considered to ensure that workers are paid based on productivity.

Speaking to the same issue on 3FM, the current CEO of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Edward Kwapong said work is in progress to come up with a means of measuring workers productivity.

“The Management Development Productivity Institute has designed something, so we are trying to establish that collaboration with them to get an instrument to measure so that at the end of the day we can tell government that productivity is so high or low, so we can increase or reduce the wage,” Edward Kwapong said.

He noted that until the Commission is able to get an objective instrument for measuring productivity, it would be difficult to convince workers that their productivity is either lower or higher than what they earn.

Single Spine

Meanwhile, speaking about reforms in the Single Spine Salary Structure, George Smith-Graham said the reforms ought to be done in phases, beginning with amendment to the constitution to ensure a step by step approach to dealing with the issues.

“Amend all statues, and make the Commission a constitutional body. That is the way you can get the Commission to deal with the issues effectively.”

He urged government to pay attention to data preservation in the public service to ensure that due diligence is done.

“I hope that government will pay more attention to data. The data in Fair Wages, for instance, should be the same data at the Controller and Accountant General’s office, and the Finance Ministry but they are not,” Smith-Graham stated.

George Smith-Graham further charged government to desist from interfering with the work of the Commission.

Meanwhile, CEO of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Edward Kwapong said his outfit is working on the reform and would present its proposal by the end of June, 2018.




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