The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says government must review the public sector pay to mitigate the effects of increased prices of goods and services on workers.
Addressing members at an organised labour pre-May Day Forum 2022, on Thursday, the General Secretary of the TUC, Dr Yaw Baah, noted that since 2021, fuel prices have shot up a significant number of times, as a result, transport fares have increased, thereby affecting the prices of goods.
Dr Baah stressed that these are hard times, therefore, workers should not be allowed to suffer alone. He stressed that salaries must be increased to alleviate the economic pressure.
“In July, 2021, when we were negotiating public sector pay for 2021 and 2022, inflation was just 9%. As we speak, it has reached 19.4%. This has taken a toll on every worker in government.
“The sad aspect is that this 19.4% is the average. When you actually check, you realise that even the price of water has gone up by 27%. The price of oil has gone up by 25%. This is not normal, we are in a crisis, and therefore, workers should not be allowed to suffer alone. Government should at least increase our salaries to relieve us of the pressure,” he said.
Rising cost of food pushed inflation rate in the month of March, 2022 to 19.4%, the highest since August, 2009, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed.
Foodstuffs such as Oil and Fats (28.2%), Water (27.1%), Cereal Products (25.0%), Vegetables (23.8%), Fish and Other Seafood (23.7%), Fruits and Nuts (22.1%), Soft Drinks (20.5%) and Live Animals and Meat (20.2%) recorded inflation rate, higher than the national average.
According to the figures, food inflation recorded a rate of 22.4% in March 2022, compared to 17.4% in February 2022.
Non-food inflation, however, recorded a rate of 17.0% in March, 2021, from 14.5% recorded in February, 2022.
Transport including fuel recorded the highest inflation rate of 27.6%, followed by Housing with an inflation rate of 21.4%.
According to Dr Baah, government cannot to ride on the Ukraine-Russia war to refuse the Union an increase in salary.