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Govt pays GH₵485 million as COLA for 2 months

Government has paid an amount of GH₵485 million as Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to public sector workers.

A statement issued by the Controller and Accountant-General  Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem said the COLA covers 15% of 2022 basic salary.

Dated August 29, 2022, the statement explained that the amount paid is in respect of July and August 2022.

“Pursuant to the approval given by the Ministry of Finance on August 1, 2022, following the Agreement signed between Government and Organized Labour on   July 14, 2022, the Controller and Accountant-General has paid the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to workers in Public Service Institutions,” it said.

It would be recalled that during the May Day celebration this year,  the Trades Union Congress (TUC), called on government to give public sector workers a 20% cost of living allowance (COLA).

According to the TUC, this will help better the lot of public sector workers across the country owing to what they said, is the prevailing hardship in the country.

Subsequently,  four Teacher Unions went on strike after the government failed to meet their June 30, 2022, deadline for the payment of the allowance.

They are Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH).

Other Unions within the public service, including the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) and the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) also hinted of going on strike over the payment of COLA.

The strike action was however, averted when government and Organised Labour following a meeting of the tripartite committee agreed on a 15% COLA for public service workers effective July 1, 2022.

The various unions had demanded 20%.

A communique jointly signed by the Government and Organised Labour at a third meeting between the parties since the demand for COLA started this year, said the allowance would cushion  workers amidst the economic challenges facing the country.

The agreement was signed collectively by Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations; Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance; Mr Benjamin Arthur, Chief Executive of the Fare Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC); Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary General, Trades Union Congress (TUC) for organized labour; and Madam Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, President, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) for organized labour.

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