“Increment in Tariffs Is Going to Affect Workers Monthly Salary”- GNAT

“Increment in Tariffs Is Going to Affect Workers Monthly Salary”- GNAT President

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President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Rev Isaac Owusu, has bemoaned the increment in utility tariffs across the country, insisting it will affect workers’ salaries.

According to him, the 15% COLA increment promised by government is expected to take effect at the end of the month, however, with the increment of tariffs by the PURC, “it is definitely going to have a negative effect” on the workers.

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Rev Owusu revealed that already, workers are facing serious challenge and the current inflation rate of about 31.7% is causing the rise in food prices and the “salary that comes to the worker has not appreciated”, as workers are still receiving the same amount.

“The difference that we will need to educate our members is that, the 15% is the basic salary of the worker. So, if someone is paid a monthly salary of GHC200 and you want to work out the 27.15% on the GHC200, then certainly it will be less than the worker’s basic salary. The fact of the matter is that once there has been increment on the tariffs, it is certainly going to affect the worker’s monthly salary because your expenses are now going to increase. If you pay light bill of GHC200, you will not pay GHC200 from September ending. You are definitely going to pay more than GHC200.”-Rev Isaac Owusu.

Commenting on the Cost of Living Allowance amid tariff increment by the PURC, Rev Owusu noted that currently, “we are all facing the reality that is dawning on us” as a nation. As such, come September 1, if a worker who is resident in a house goes to pay light and water bill, he “has to pay an addition of 27.15% for light and 21.5% for water”. This, he explained, is evidence of the challenges the country is facing and it’s going to have a serious effect on workers.

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The President of GNAT stated that the challenges that are confronting the country must be addressed holistically. He emphasized that stakeholders must come together “to look at the way forward” that will help everyone in the country.

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Presently, if you look at where the cedi to dollar has reached, it is not the best for us as a country. We asked for COLA to support our members and the 15% that government is going to pay workers ending of this month; now a dollar, you’ll need about GHC10 to get a dollar. So, if there’s 15% of COLA, a worker who takes maybe GHC250 and you want to convert that to a dollar, you will not even get enough dollars to cushion him to go to the market…”-Rev Isaac Owusu.

Rev Owusu expressed the need to de-politicize issues confronting the country. He indicated that workers are “not looking at who is to be blamed” but expect those in authority to put things in order to help them.

“But whether we are to blame the NPP government or blame the NDC government, that is not what we workers are looking for.”-Rev Isaac Owusu.

On his part, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, Deputy Energy minister, revealed that the minority’s stance on the PURC increment of utility tariff is “pretty exciting because as expected”, they want to play politics with the situation. He recounted that in 2017 and 2018 when the tariffs were reduced, the minority called on government to increase the tariffs because failure to do so would impact the operations of the utility providers.

“… So, the question then is what has changed? From where I sit and having deliberated with the PURC over the period, you’ll recall that the demand that the utility companies themselves made; ECG was in the region of I believe 148% and Ghana Water was requesting for 300% for the year 2022 and 2025… So, necessarily it was important for some increases to be applied with the expectation that as we do so, we expect them to improve their collections.”

Source: thevaultznews.com

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