Government Admits Errors

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    Panic-stricken Minister of Education, Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her colleague from Employment and Social Welfare, Enoch Teye Mensah, yesterday raced to save government from facing a possible sit-down strike action by the country’s teachers who have threatened to lay down their tools.

    At a hurriedly-organised press conference in Accra yesterday, which was addressed by the two Ministers, together with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), government admitted to the fact that there were seeping errors in the salaries of teachers with regard to their migration onto the now controversial Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

    Education Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who is barely a month old at the Ministry, said, “We admit that there are reported genuine cases of error on the pay slips of some teachers.”

    This, she said, had led to reported cases of reductions in the February salaries of a number of teachers within the Ghana Education Service (GES), following their migration on to the SSSS.

    Under normal circumstance, she said, a test run of the system ought to have been conducted to verify the results of the migration process which involved about 277,747 employees on the GES payroll to ensure the output figures were accurate.

    However, the Minister indicated that “due to an agreement reached between the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the teachers’ unions, namely Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), it was decided that payment under the new system should be effected by the Controller and Accountant General (CAGD) in the month of February.”

    Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu claimed that in spite of having 15% of their basic salary increase as their professional allowance, which was subsequently consolidated into their basic salary since it was a category one allowance with their consent, the teachers still wanted to migrate to the SSSS with an allowance, stressing that “new allowances will be introduced including special allowances for teachers in deprived areas and those teaching subjects like science, mathematics, technical and vocational courses.”

    That notwithstanding, government said it remained committed to improving the welfare of teachers since, according to the sector Minister, “A satisfied and highly-motivated teacher is indispensable to the achievement of government’s programme to build a reliable and dependable manpower base for our socio-economic development.”

    She attributed the errors to pressure from teachers who were demanding an immediate migration of their salaries onto the new salary structure.

    In spite of that, government said it had set up a technical team to address any anomalies that might occur in effecting payments.

    According to Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, the “committee is verifying the payments and when they discover anomalies, will rectify it and draw attention of the CAGD to effect the changes.”

    The committee, whose work began last week and are presently in Dodowa in the Eastern region, has therefore been mandated to consider complaints from individual teachers through their regional directors.

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