In what could be the first major strike action by workers in 2018, the three teacher unions have threatened to embark on strike over the government’s failure to pay arrears owed teachers.
They intend to take the action in the second term of 2017/2018 academic year which begins next week.
According to the three unions made up of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), although the arrears totaling over GHc 50 million, was captured to be paid in the March 2017 budget, it remained unpaid.
The unions say the unpaid allowances have accrued from 2013 to date.
The incoming President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, indicates 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 which had lasted for the past 11 months.
“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.
Intense 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.
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.
By ADR Daily Newsdesk