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Teacher Unions Demand Answers From Employers

Leadership Of The Teacher Unions Presenting Their Petition
Leadership Of The Teacher Unions Presenting Their Petition

Source: Michael Foli Jackidy

The three prominent Pre-Tertiary teacher unions in Ghana, namely the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH), have collectively given their employer until May 13 to address their grievances. In the event of failure to do so, they have affirmed their intention to escalate the matter to higher leadership for immediate action.

This request was issued during a protest march led by the Volta Regional leadership and members of these unions, protesting against the government and the employer’s persistent neglect of their working conditions. In their petition to Regional Minister Hon. Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, and read by Mr. Kassim Seidu Baba the Volta Regional Secretary of GNAT, the union leadership emphasized teachers’ indispensable role in realizing the nation’s educational objectives. They stressed that teachers, more than any other group, shape and determine the outcomes of the learning process, thus influencing the overall success of the educational system.

The unions recounted their longstanding struggle dating back to the Collective Agreements negotiated in 2009 and 2020, lamenting the government’s continual failure to implement agreed-upon allowances and fulfill promises made. Despite initially advocating for 17 allowances, they have recently narrowed their focus to four key ones: the Deprived Area Allowance, Extra Assessment Allowance, Book/Data/Online Teaching Support Allowance, and Upward Adjustment of the CPD Allowance. Despite this concession, the government’s obstinance and lack of good faith have exacerbated members’ grievances, leading to significant discontent over the past 24 months without any indication of relief from the employer.

A Section Of Demonstrators
A Section Of Demonstrators

Consequently, the unions demand that the employer honor their commitments by promptly addressing the stated allowances. Although they temporarily suspended work on March 20 due to the government’s failure to meet their conditions of service, they returned to their duties following intervention by the National Labour Commission, which facilitated negotiations with the government.

The recent demonstration on Friday 3rd May involved over 150 teachers from the three unions, marching through various key locations in the Volta Region to present their petition to the Regional Minister. Their placards bore poignant messages such as “GES, we need the rest of our laptops now,” “Teachers are not beggars,” “Our take-home can’t take us home,” and “Being a teacher is not a crime,” among others, reflecting the depth of their grievances.

Mr. Augustus Awity, the Coordinating Director, received the petition on behalf of the minister and assured the teachers of its prompt delivery. He pledged to undertake necessary follow-ups to ensure the government expeditiously addresses their demands before the deadline.

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