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ISAAC KINGSLEY Mensah a senior citizen, a retired police officer and a commissioner of oath at the Sunyani Municipality has suggested to the government to rethink about his policy of freezing increase in salaries of workers, but rather take it as a loan with an interest.

He noted this in a press statement issued in Sunyani arguing that the intended freeze in the light of increase in taxes and utility tariffs will affect the well being of public sector workers and therefore the government must give the workers enough reason to accept the freezing policy in good faith by taking the money as a loan.

He said government workers across the country are worried that government has carried through its plan of placing a moratorium on public sector salaries for the year 2014.

We recall that in December last year (2013), Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terkper, announced on the floor of Parliament that the Mahama administration was considering freezing any increase(s) in public sector salaries.

Mr Mensah added that the Trade Union Congress (TUC) is not the only institution which is unhappy about governmentís intended action.

Two teacher associations- Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association have threatened to embark on strike if government continues to freeze increase in workersí salaries.

ďThe harsh economic conditions we are going through are too biting to talk about a freeze on salary increase. Clearly, the purchasing power of public sector workers has been drastically reduced. How does the government expect workers to be empowered to break even?Ē he asked.

Mr Mensah urged the Mahama administration to tread cautiously on this matter and that it is important that government looks at a better way of dealing with the matter rather than consider freezing increase in public sector workers while the government even owes teachers some backlog of salaries.

He noted that in the light of the harsh economic conditions it will be unfair on the part of government to freeze salaries of workers in the public sector against the backdrop that petroleum products, utility tariffs have equally been increased about four consecutive times.

The government is further compounding the woes of workers by freezing any increase in their salaries; therefore, the government must not freeze the increment, but rather take it as a loan from the workers.

He added that the pension money due each worker is determined by the amount of money received while in office; therefore, government freezing salaries of workers will compound their problem in future.
Source: Daily Heritage

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