The Trades Union Congress (TUC), has also rejected the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee’s recommendation for wives of Presidents and Vice Presidents to be paid monthly salaries.
The group insists the spouses have not been assigned any specific roles in the constitution and “therefore, they are not qualified to receive salaries from the public purse.”
The TUC said this in a press statement signed by the Secretary-General of TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah, and issued on Sunday, July 11, 2021.
According to the TUC, even though Ghanaians appreciate the efforts of the First and Second ladies, the constitution does not assign any official responsibilities to them.
And thus, any payment salaries to them is “simply not right”.
“Ghanaians appreciate what the first and second ladies are doing to support women’s rights, children’s rights, and other noble initiatives towards social and economic development of our country. But neither the Constitution of Ghana nor the laws of the land assign them any official duties and responsibilities.”
“Therefore, the Trades Union Congress cannot support the payment of salaries to the spouses of presidents and vice presidents, even if the Ntiamoa-Baidu’s Committee recommended the payment of such salaries. It is simply not right for anyone who has not been officially assigned duties and responsibilities in the public service to receive monthly salaries. The Committee probably sought to rationalize or regularize allowances that were being paid already, hence its recommendation to convert such allowances into salaries. But you cannot regularize or rationalize the payment of salaries which have no basis.”
Meanwhile, the TUC also disclosed that the backdated salaries from 2017, have already been paid to the First and Second ladies per the recommendation of the committee.
“Salary arrears dated back to January 2017 have since been paid to the wives of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia, in accordance with the Committee’s recommendation which was approved by NDC and NPP Members of Parliament.”
Some Ghanaians are incensed after it emerged that the wife of the President, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the wife of his Vice, Samira Bawumia, are to receive emoluments just like cabinet ministers.
Some have directly chastised the Akufo-Addo administration for the development, but Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has explained that the payment of the said allowances is not a new phenomenon and that it was instituted under the Kufuor administration and had benefited others, but was only being formalised by the current government.
Per the recommended emoluments, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister-MP while in office.
After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
For the spouse of the Vice President, they will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP when in office.
After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.
The emoluments were part of recommendations by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo to make recommendations on the salaries and other gratuities of Article 71 officeholders