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29 September 2016

TUC will deepen dialogue with social partners – Yaw Baah

baah-asamoahThe Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah, has promised to deepen dialogue between workers and their social partners during his tenure.

The affable trade unionist, however, also pledged that strikes would feature prominently if their partners disregarded dialogue and rode roughshod over the interests of workers.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Dr Baah said he would with the help of his executive, endeavour to change the perception of people that trade unionism was all about militancy.

Dr Baah was elected Secretary General of the TUC by popular acclamation at the 10th Quadrennial Delegates Congress on August 13, 2016.

For him, the goal of trade unions was universal and singular and that was to protect the interest of workers by organising all workers into one strong force and voice, dialogue and negotiation through collective bargaining principles, alliance building and strikes.

“If you can achieve something through dialogue, it becomes the most civilised way of achieving what you want,” Dr Baah stressed.

He explained that if the strategies of dialogue failed because of the unwillingness of partners to talk, workers would be forced to use strikes in protest to get their partners back to the table.

He gave the assurance that once the space was created for dialogue, workers would avail themselves in pursuit of their interests and urged employers to endeavour to always create space for dialogue.

With the increase in the base salary of workers on the single spine salary structure by 12.5 per cent on September 13, 2016, Dr Baah explained that the relativity rate of 1.7, which had been kept at the same figure since the implementation of the policy in 2010 was one of the reasons for the sustainability of the policy.

“If the single spine is still in existence, it is partly because we have not pushed for the review of the relativity,” he added.

He said any increase in the relativity would have resulted in gross disparities between top earners on the spine and bottom earners.

Thus, it was prudent for partners to maintain the relativity at the same rate for the time being.

Dr Baah was hopeful, however, that with time and as workers improved upon their performances, the country would get to the point where increases in the relativity would not create gaps and would also be in accordance with the productivity of workers.

On productivity, Dr Baah said it had been an issue since the introduction of the policy.

He said partners were at the stage where the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) was working with the Public Services Commission (PSC) on human resource performance standards, and that would be the springboard for the next phase of the policy.

 

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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