Teacher unions set to strike over GHc 50m arrears

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The three teacher unions have told the government to brace itself for a strike during the second term of the 2017/2018 academic year.

Although a specific date for the strike has not been given, the second term begins next week. The intended strike is in connection with the non-payment of arrears amounting to over GHc 50 million.

According to them, the said arrears were captured to be paid in the March 2017 budget but were not paid.

The unions, comprising the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), have been negotiating with the government for the past 11 months.

The unions say the unpaid allowances have accrued from 2013 to date.

Speaking to Citi News on behalf of the three teacher unions, the incoming President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, noted that notice of the intended strike stemmed from their frustrations in their dealings with government.

He said the unions did not see any possibility of progress with the current negotiations.

“You go and have meetings and it is as if there is some break in synergy or understanding between the controller and accountant general, the audit service, all contributing to delays in the payment of the money.”

“We served notice to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission indicating that we have come to the end of the road. We have made these demands for a while, but we are not getting positive results so come this term, we will be taking industrial action to push further our demands,” Mr. Carbonu said.

Serious agitation over the arrears begun in 2016, when NAGRAT threatened a similar action over the non-payment of salary arrears to 2013 and 2014 batches of newly recruited teachers, teachers on promotion, and others who were reinstated or re-engaged, and also outstanding transfer grants and allowances to deserving teachers.

Agitations from CETAG

The Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) also laid down their tools for three weeks over the failure of the government to pay salary arrears owed them since October 2016.

The strike was called off after the three national officers of CETAG signed an agreement with three Cabinet Ministers; the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, the Education Minister and a deputy Finance Minister, signed for the government.

The details of the agreement indicated that government would pay the arrears in the first quarter of 2018.

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By: citifmonline.com/Ghana

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