Concerned Teachers strike; But Education Ministry says action is illegal
Members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association (CCTA) have declared a nationwide strike over what they describe as the failure of the government to address their grievances.
According to the association, the government had failed to pay the incremental credit arrears of teachers for the past two years, delayed in the payment of car maintenance allowance for teachers, among other things.
‘Yes, we have declared a nationwide strike,’ the National Communications Director of the CCTA, Mr King Ali Awudu, told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
However, the Ministry of Education has declared the strike illegal, since the grievances of teachers in general were being addressed.
Mr Awudu said the CCTA had, in March, declared a strike over the issues raised and that it had taken the timely intervention of President John Mahama to call off that strike.
‘The President invited us to the Flagstaff House and pleaded that we go back to the classroom for the institutions mandated to address our grievances to do so,’ he said.
Other issues that compelled them to go on strike, he said, were the non-negotiation of categories Two and Three Allowances, withdrawal of teacher trainee allowances, delay in the release of the Capitation Grant and teaching and learning materials, as well as the failure of the Controller and Accountant-General to deposit money deducted from the salaries of teachers under the occupational pension scheme.
Mr Awudu said before embarking on the strike, the CCTA wrote to the National Labour Commission (NLC), the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), the Director General of the GES, the Ministry of Manpower, Employment and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education informing them of the failure to address teachers’ grievances.
‘We gave them two weeks in the letter to address the grievances but they did not respond. We wrote to them again, giving them one more week, but they still refused to address our grievances and they again failed to respond to us.
‘The one week ended on Wednesday and so we declared a strike today,’ he said.
Issues being addressed
Responding to the issuess, the Director of Public Relations at the Ministry of Education, Mr Paul Krampah, told the Daily Graphic that the FWSC had met the various teacher unions and made it clear to them that the incremental credit was going to be paid at the end of this year.
He said the ministry had demonstrated its resolve to pay teachers’ incremental allowances, having paid all the arrears for this year alone, leaving out the 2011 and 2012 arrears.
Aside that, he said, the CCTA could not enter into any form of negotiation, since it did not have any bargaining certificate to do so.
Moreover, he said, the car maintenance allowance and issues with the occupational pension scheme were also being addressed.
‘In spite of all these, we will meet them tomorrow (Friday) and listen to them on the other issues they have raised,’ Mr Krampah said.
By Emmanuel Bonney/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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