The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) says it is difficult to measure the productivity of public sector workers against their salaries under the current salary structure.
The Commission said there was supposed to be a component of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) linking pay to productivity, but that component was yet to be implemented.
Mr Earl Ankrah, Acting Director, Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Head of Public Affairs, FWSC, told the Ghana News Agency that a holistic review of the SSPP would incorporate that aspect where the output of public servants would be measured.
“The whole conversation about the Single Spine did not come as a salary issue but a complete issue with productivity and indeed on the Single Spine, we have what we call linking pay to productivity, a way of ensuring that Government employees are earning their salaries rightfully.
“But we are yet to go into that phase of linking pay to productivity, and once we get there, we will be in a good position to establish whether or not public sector workers are being overpaid or underpaid,” he said.
There have been conflicting opinions about whether the salaries of public sector workers commiserated with their work output.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, Government’s Statistician, reignited the debate in his inaugural lecture at the University of Cape Coast last Thursday by suggesting that public sector workers are generally overpaid for work done.
He argued that while earnings averaged about GH¢3,420 for the public sector worker, output in the sector averaged about GH¢1,420, less than half the earnings.
His assertion triggered sharp rebuttals, with the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) calling on the Government’s Statistician to provide data to back his claim.
There were similar reactions from other labour unions.
Mr Ankrah said the FWSC could not agree or dispute Prof. Annim’s findings because it was based on “his personal research.”
He said once the SSPP was reviewed, the Commission would be able to assess the productivity of public servants by analysing the performance appraisals of the various Departments and Agencies.
“Productivity issues happen at the Departments, Agencies level. In most institutions, performance appraisals are done, starting with the setting of targets for employees, which is reviewed in the middle of the year and then at the end of the year.
“Once that is done, then Fair Wages will come in to collate appraisal results and then we will strike a certain balance between their salaries and performances to productivity then we will be able to tell if public servants are being paid, overpaid or underpaid,” he said.
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, in April this year, set up a nine-member Technical Committee to review the SSPP and submit report in three months.
Chaired by Dr Alhassan Iddrisu of the Ministry of Finance, the Committee is to among others, identify the key challenges in the implementation of the SSPP, including linking performance to pay, market premium and administration of salary differentials in the public sector.