Lawyer and Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has backed the Organised Labour demand for a 60% increment in base pay for 2023 stating that public sector workers deserve such an increase in salary based on their service to the nation.
Reacting to the salary demands of Labour on Joy FM’s Newsfile on December 3, the lawyer argued that Article 71 has empowered government officials who have been elected and appointed to revive the country’s economy rather raid the country and put a burden on the people.
“You have a situation in Article 71 where the people who are elected and appointed to serve us and to be the people to lead the nation to prospect are rather ripping us. They have become a detrude and have a set of rules for themselves”, he opined.
According to him, Article 71 of the constitution does not impose salary increments on workers, however, the salary and wages of workers shall be determined by a committee considering the conditions and the economic situation in the country.
Bentil explained that based on this flexibility in the constitution, workers under Article 71 determines astronomical salary for themselves adding that members at the Council of State accept a bounteous sum of money which does not befit their work.
He opened: “We have another set of Article 71 plus who are not in Article 71 but political appointees who now affiliated themselves with the Article 71 pay, and just get into our resources and spend it and tell labour not to demand what is inflation and devaluation in our currency”.
Mr Kofi Bentil, however, urged the Labour Union to press their demand on the government indicating that the only measure to increase productivity in the public sector is to pay workers a salary that is due them.
“Our leaders have the solution, and if they will reform the civil and public service, they should reform its productivity then the workers’ salaries will not be less negative. If they pay them well, they will still work more. Until then Labour should continue to insist on what they are demanding and it is fair”, he impelled.
The previous negotiation meeting between the government and Organised Labour ended inconclusively as the government moved from 15% to 18% while the labour front maintained its position of 60%.