There seems to be no end in sight for the current impasse between the College of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) and the Ministry of Education over payment of Interim Market Premium as well as Book and Research Allowances which has led to the closure of 46 public colleges in the country.
Hopes of teacher-trainees to return to their lecture halls and resume their academic activities soon are gradually fading away, as both parties continue to trade accusations.
Whilst the Education Ministry seems not to appreciate the effect the closure of the colleges would have on teacher-trainees across country, and the concerns raised by the aggrieved teachers, CETAG on the other hand, has taken an entrenched position defending its indefinite strike action.
CETAG maintains that the action is to protect the welfare of its members who continue to be unfairly remunerated due to failed efforts to renegotiate with the government payment of their market premium, book and research allowance, after the law was passed to grant the Colleges full tertiary status.
The National President of CETAG, Prince Obeng insists that their claims are genuine and must be resolved with urgency.
According to him CETAG members were appalled with the government decision to pay GH¢127 whereas other teacher associations are being given between GH¢1,600 and GH¢1,800 a month.
But the Education Ministry is accusing CETAG of acting in bad faith
According to the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Education, Vincent Asafuah, CETAG is being difficult as far as negotiation of the market premium, book and research allowance are concerned.
“You don’t get to the negotiation table and run away saying the premium that government is offering at this instance is quite low,” he said.
He therefore urged CETAG to return to the negotiation table for further engagements to amicably settle the standoff.
CETAG gave the government up to the end of October which is when the academic year begins to institute “market premium and book and research allowance” for its members.
Due to the inability of both parties to reach a consensus during the negotiation of the market premium and book and research allowance, CETAG on 29th October, 2018 in a statement, declared an indefinite strike.
They said in the statement that their decision was based on failure to reach an agreement with the government on Interim Market, Book and Research Allowance for members of CETAG, after a three month period of negotiation.
By Benjamin Nana Appiah/adrdaily.com