Four Teacher Unions have commenced a strike action to back their demand for a Cost Of Living Allowance(COLA) after the Government failed to meet their June 30, 2022 deadline for the payment of the allowance.
They have withdrawn their services in all the Pre-Tertiary educational space for both Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff.
They are: Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH).
A statement issued in Accra by the representatives of the striking Unions, said the Government had been insensitive regarding their demand which was influenced by the high level of inflation in the country.
“The incessant skyrocketing prices of fuel, goods, and services have eroded the already woefully so-called salary increases granted us as expressed in four per cent and seven per cent for 2021 and 2022 respectively,” the statement said.
According to the statement, they had made several calls for the Government’s grant of a 20 per cent Cost-Of Living-Allowance (COLA) to the Ghanaian worker, particularly, teachers and educational Workers of the Pre-Tertiary Education level.
The statement reminded the Government of the responsibility imposed on her by Article 36 of the 1992 Constitution that “the State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”
It also stated that, “the State shall take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall include the guarantee of a fair and realistic remuneration for production and productivity to encourage continued production and higher productivity and the recognition that the most secure democracy is the one that assures the basic necessities of life for its people as a fundamental duty.”
The statement said the unions had made the call on different platforms and times but had fallen on the deaf ears of the Government.
It said their call started through a Press Conference on 24 February 2022 by the Unions in Pre-Tertiary Education Sector and another one which was also addressed on 20 May 2022 by the Forum of Public Sector Unions.
Since then, a passionate request contained in the 2022 May Day Speech, and recently, an official correspondence dated 24 June 2022 by the Secretary-General of TUC, addressed to the President of the Republic of Ghana also made the same call but to no avail.
“The ‘loud silence’ of the government on this matter is worrisome and leaves much to be desired of any government that cares about its workers,” they said.
The statement said the Unions expressed serious concern of the unbearable pain of poverty bestowed on the Ghanaian teacher and Education Workers that left them with an inauspicious situation.