The Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations designate, Mr Bright Wireko-Brobbey, has charged workers to give their best to help revive the economy and rescue it from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said increased productivity from workers, especially those in the public sector, was needed to put the economy back on track to deliver value to the populace and the country as a whole.
Mr Wireko-Brobbey, who is the immediate past Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, was speaking to the Graphic Business on April 30, ahead of the May Day celebration.
Mr Wireko-Brobbey said in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on national revenues and the fiscal position for last year, the government "kept faith with workers" by ensuring that no worker neither lost a job nor suffered salary reduction or delayed payment.
With the pandemic now abated and the economy on a recovery mode, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hemang-Lower-Denkyira said it was the turn of workers to replicate the good faith to the government and the country at large by doubling up on their delivery.
He said higher productivity resulting from increased delivery by workers would lead to strong growth and that could translate into higher wages for public sector employees.
His appeal comes at a time when data showed that compensation of public employees remained the top three drivers of public expenditure.
The 2021 budget showed that compensation of employees, which comprises salaries and wages, pensions, gratuities and social security, rose by 27.7 per cent to GH¢28.27 billion, making it the second biggest expenditure item after interest cost.
The amount was equivalent to 66.6 per cent of the year’s tax revenue, which ended the year at GH¢42.41 per cent.
The budget now estimates that compensation of public workers would rise by about seven per cent to GH¢30.3, equivalent to 26 per cent of the year’s projected total expenditure.
The deputy minister noted that although the government was concerned about the strong growth of the compensation bill, given its impact on the economy, it found it necessary to adequately compensate workers for their toils.
He said the government would continue to prioritise the incomes of workers, with the hope that they would replicate the gesture to help grow the economy for increased earning and higher incomes.
The development economist appealed to workers to cultivate and nurture good work ethics, including proper time management and the adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance their delivery.
He said time management had been found to be one of the biggest issues holding back output and called on workers to make it a habit to come to work early to help increase output.
"It is not that when you come early, you will automatically work hard or better but once you are in the office on time, it is an indication that you are ready to work and that is a positive start," he said.
Mr Wireko-Brobbey also noted the need for workers to utilise technology to advance their expertise rather than allowing social media to distract them.