By Rebecca Ekpe
As May Day closes in, Workers are up in arms against the government as usual for one thing, better working conditions, this time round the narrative has been around ”Neutrality Allowance”. Labour Pundits seem to have mixed reactions to this phraseology. There is the fundamental reality that standard of living is becoming a concern with inflation determining the prices on the market, given an economy that depends highly on imported goods.
Financial Economist, Dr. Lord Mensah has been sharing his views on the happenings on the labour front and says the, ”Labour agitation on wage increase is rational”.
He said given the current situation, ”it is a demand that would come from every consumer”, he posited referring to the escalating prices on the market currently. ”Once every goods is going up, it would not match up with your salary”, the Financial Economist noted.
”We should expect these agitations from the labour front”, according to Dr. Mensah, he suggested that the government should address the issue of ”Neutrality Allowance”, holistically instead of in piece meals, because paying allowances only, may not be the best option to resolving issues with worker salary conditions.
”Government should negotiate across board, take the bull by the horn, not individually, simply ”Neutrality Allowance’, means pay increase”, he opined.
”Index salaries to reflect inflation numbers”, according to Dr. Mensah, but, for the long term he suggested that the government policies must reflect the trends. For example, he said in the area of Agriculture, emphasis should be placed on producing staples locally to reduce over-dependence on food imports, so as to save the Cedi from depreciating.
Meanwhile, the Head of Local Government Services, Dr. Nana Ato Arthur has announced to Journalists that the Government has agreed to pay the ‘Neutrality Allowance’ to members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG), but the phrase would be changed. Also, the allowance will be paid during the last quarter of 2022.
CLOGSAG has been on strike since Thursday, April 21st, 2022 pressing home demands for better working conditions.