Claim: Communication Team Member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kwaku Owusu Banahene, claims the Single Spine Pay Policy in Ghana was implemented in 2013.
Verdict: False. A statement issued by the Finance Ministry in 2012, when John Mahama was president, indicated the policy was implemented in 2010 under former President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, not in 2013.
A communication team member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kwaku Owusu Banahene, has claimed that the Single Spine Pay Policy was introduced in 2013 when former President John Mahama was in office.
The claim was made on Friday, November 18, 2022, on Peace FM, one of the most listened-to radio stations in Ghana. The shorter version of the show has also been posted on its YouTube account. The claim can be found in the 14 seconds to 22 seconds of the video.
On the show, he said, “In 2013, when we started the single spine pay policy, the wage bill had increased by 49%.” He made the claim when there was a discussion on the newly approved minimum wage by the government, which is expected to take effect from January 1, 2023.
Right in the middle of his commentary, a New Patriotic Party member on the show challenged Mr Banahene, insisting the single spine pay policy was implemented in 2011 under the late John Mills and not under ex-president John Mahama in 2013.
As a result of the controversy the commentary has generated, DUBAWA decided to fact-check the claim.
More so, it has become necessary to fact-check this assertion because of the recent proposal made by the public sector workers for government to increase their base pay by 60% due to the recent announcement of the increase in the minimum wage.
Our first research lens was directed at documents issued by the government on the Single Spine Pay Policy. DUBAWA found out that a white paper was issued in November 2009 by the late President John Evans Atta Mill’s administration. The policy was to restore equity and transparency in public service pay administration, including salary inequalities and distortions.
When the white paper was published, it indicated that the “policy would be implemented in phases over a five-year period effective January 1, 2010.”
It further stated, “The first six months of the implementation process will be used to address some persistent technical problems to ensure that the policy does not re-introduce inequities which it was designed to address.”
But was it implemented on January 1, 2010, as intended?
Yes, the Single Spine Pay Policy was implemented in 2010. This was echoed by Former President John Mahama during a national forum on the policy on August 6, 2012, at Ho, in the Volta Region. This can be seen in the fourth paragraph of page 2 of a statement he read, which was published on the website of the Ministry of Finance.
According to him, “the government took the mantle of implementing the SSPP in 2010. This is the culmination of attempts that had been initiated in the 1990s. The rationale for formulating the SSPP is to resolve four important issues in public sector pay management.”
Review of the Single Spine Pay Policy
There have, however, been various calls for the review of the policy. In view of this, President Akufo-Addo said on May 1, 2022, as captured by citinewsroom.com, that a technical committee has been set up to review the policy.
According to him, the report from the committee, when completed, would help to avert the many agitations on the labour front, especially those involving public sector workers.
“I am happy to announce that following the national labour conference at Kwahu, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the partners have set up a technical committee to review the Single Spine Pay Policy and advise the government accordingly.
“The goal is to find out whether the Single Spine Pay Policy is living up to expectations and, if not, find a way forward. I hope that the report, which is expected to be ready in July, will help to end most of the unrest we see on the labour front involving public sector workers,” President Akufo-Addo said during a May Day celebration at Independence Square in Accra.
With the explanation given, DUBAWA can conclude that the Single Spine Pay Policy was not implemented in 2013, as claimed by NDC’s Kwaku Owusu Banahene. The policy was implemented in 2010 as intended.