EconomyFact Check

Deputy Employment Minister makes false claim about public sector salary pay rise during Mahama administration

Claim: The Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, has claimed that the government’s decision to increase public sector pay by 30% is higher than the cumulative increments made during the tenure of former President John Mahama.

Verdict: DUBAWA Ghana has found this declaration to be false.

Full Text

Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Member of Parliament for Hemang Lower Denkyira, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, on Thursday, March 16, 2023, joined the debate on the Motion to thank President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his State of the Nation, which was delivered on March 8, 2023.

As part of his argument, he commended the government for agreeing to increase public workers’ salaries by 30 per cent. This increment, according to him, “was unprecedented and has never happened before” in the country.

The MP then claimed that the cumulative public sector pays rise witnessed during the tenure of former President John Mahama is not enough to compare to their single decision.

“Mr Speaker, one thing that [has never] happened before is that despite the state of the economy, this year the Ministry of Employment, together with our labour force and employers, we were able to peg salary increment by 30 per cent,” he said.

This is unprecedented; it has never happened before. Between 2013 and 2016, the cumulative increment in salaries did not match up to the base pay increment of 30 per cent,” he claimed.

The entire Parliament session was streamed on Facebook, and his claims can be found between minutes 2:35:24 and 2:36:40.


In verifying this claim, we relied on media reports and official documents showing an agreement between the Government and Organized Labour to increase salaries.

We found that in 2013, public workers’ salaries increased by 10 per cent. In 2014, there was an agreement for the payment of a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) “in lieu of an increase in the Base Pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure.”

This Allowance “will represent ten per cent of the 2013 Basic Salary,” the agreement signed by the Government representative and a representative from Trade Union Congress. 

Public workers’ salaries were then increased by 13 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, for 2015 and 2016.

Cumulatively, that will be a 43 per cent increment in the base pay of public sector salaries between 2013 and 2016.

A collage showing the increment of public salaries between 2013 to 2016.

Even if the ten per cent Allowance of Salaries in 2014 is not considered to be a salary increment, the cumulative increment in base pay between 2013 to 2016 will be 33 per cent (2013 [10 per cent] + 2015 [13 per cent] + 2016 [10 per cent]).


Bright Wireko-Brobbey’s claim that the cumulative increment in public salaries during the tenure of John Mahama was less than 30 per cent is false.

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