The leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Graduate Association of Teachers (NAGRAT) have walked out of the negotiation with the government over their demand for Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
The two associations accused the government of betrayal of trust for asking them to call off their strike before negotiations.
“By indicating and asking us to call off our strike before negotiations begin, the government side is not ready to continue negotiations unless the teacher unions call off the strike. They have held all organised labour hostage, this is a betrayal of trust.
“Right now since we are undesirable before they even walk us out of the meeting, we are walking out of the meeting ourselves,” NAGRAT President, Angel Carbonu told the media as they walked out of the meeting which has been adjourned indefinitely.
According to the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, the adjournment was due to the refusal of some of the labour unions to call off their strike before negotiations commence.
“We have had to adjourn the meeting because both parties; labour and government think that we cannot do this while a party is on strike, so the agreement is that we are going off to talk to each other. They call off the strike and we come again to meet,” he told Joy News.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey together with other government officials were present at the meeting.
He noted that the meeting would be reconvened within the week for negotiations to continue.
This is the second time negotiations between the teacher unions and the government have ended inconclusively. The teachers have been on strike since last week Tuesday.
Four teacher unions consisting of GNAT, NAGRAT, Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) jointly embarked on an indefinite strike last week Tuesday, withdrawing their services in pre-tertiary schools, in demand for a 20 percent COLA.
“We have been compelled under the current circumstances to publicly communicate to Ghanaians on our intention to go on strike having gone passed the June 30 deadline we gave government for the payment of Cost of Living Allowance,” they said in the joint statement.