Teacher Unions Dissatisfied with Government’s Stance in Negotiations

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Teacher unions express dissatisfaction with government stance in negotiations. Explore the ongoing challenges in the education sector. Read more now!

The teacher unions express dissatisfaction with the government’s stance on negotiations.

The three pre-tertiary teacher unions have voiced their disappointment with the government’s perceived lack of enthusiasm towards the ongoing negotiations regarding the conditions of service for their members.The three teacher unions, namely the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT-Ghana), have expressed disappointment with the government’s approach following a directive to end their industrial action.

Despite this directive, the unions stated that negotiations have not yielded significant results, and they highlighted the government team’s apparent lack of authority to address their demands adequately.

In a joint statement in Accra, signed by Thomas Musah, General Secretary of GNAT; Eric Agbe-Carbonu, President of NAGRAT; and King Awudu Ali, President of CCT-GH, the unions cautioned that if there are any disruptions in the pre-tertiary education sector, the blame should not be placed on the teacher union leaders.Approximately two weeks ago, the three pre-tertiary teacher unions terminated the industrial action they initiated on March 20, 2024.

This action was in compliance with an injunction obtained by the National Labour Commission (NLC) after the teachers did not cease the strike following the commission’s directive to do so. The unions stated that they were law-abiding citizens who respected the court, leading to the decision to call off the strike.

The unions had gone on strike to demand several allowances, including Continuous Professional Development Allowance, deprived area allowance, transport and commitment allowance, rent/housing allowance, and teaching/assessment allowance.Mr. Ali urged the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to resume negotiations today (April 2, 2024) to accelerate the talks and reach a resolution to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

During a press conference to announce the strike, Reverend Isaac Owusu, President of GNAT, speaking on behalf of the unions, clarified that the action was prompted by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) neglecting to address critical issues impacting teachers’ capacity to fulfill their duties effectivelRev.

Owusu pointed out that the government had neglected to renegotiate a Collective Agreement, which covered important issues like allowances for teachers in underserved areas, entertainment allowance, and housing/rent allowance, after the expiration of the previous one in 2023.

He emphasized that the new Collective Agreement should have been finalized by February 29, 2024. “Thus, the new Collective Agreement remains unaddressed, and we highlighted this concern in our letter to the Director-General, GES, dated February 29, 2024, and also notified the National Labour Commission (NIC),” Rev. Owusu stated.

Furthermore, he attributed the decision to strike to the GES’s failure to establish a functional Scheme of Service for Teachers that could adequately address all the needs of the teaching profession.

Source: Graphic Online

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