Minister: Government Has No Reason To Antagonise Teachers

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    The Government has assured all teachers that the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) would not see them disadvantaged and wants protesting teachers to remain calm as it seeks to rectify all anomalies.

    Teachers across the country have been angry at what they describe as the insignificant increases in their salaries after their migration onto the SSSS.

    The Police Service which was first to be migrated onto the new pay policy enjoyed encouraging increases and led to high expectations of other public sector workers including the teachers.

    But after their migration teachers have complained of a insignificant increases with some claiming a reduction in their February salaries.
    Reports nationwide say the angry teachers have refused to teach and are threatening to boycott the upcoming Independence Day celebration on Sunday.

    But addressing journalists in Accra during a press conference Thursday, Education Minister Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu explained that the anomalies have resulted from an agreement reached between the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and teachers’ unions – the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) – that the payment under the SSSS be effected by the Controller an Accountant General’s Department in the month of February.

    This she said, was because the leadership of teachers’ unions was under pressure from their members who were demanding an immediate migration onto the structure, hence the reported anomalies in their salaries.

    She noted however that all irregularities experienced would be corrected in the shortest time and assured that teachers would receive the appropriate salary under the new pay policy.

    The Education Minister further explained that ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has fulfilled its campaign promise to increase teachers’ professional allowance – which upon assumption of office was 10 pesewas per month – with a 15 per cent increase which took effect from January last year.

    “Teachers were paid all the arrears due them … The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission increased the grading of teachers by a two-step upward adjustment. These two measures increased the total wage bill for the [teachers] from GHS101,918,541.10 in January 2011 to GHS136,857,468.26…”, she stated, stressing that “this is by no means marginal.”

    Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu also stressed that since the FWSC has decided to implement the migration process in two phases – (1) rationalization of salaries and (2) harmonisation and standardization of Category 2 and 3 allowances – teachers’ unions will have the opportunity to harmonise and standardize their allowances by the end of the implementation of the second phase.

    “See us as your partners in education”, she implored all teachers, to find an amicable solution to this problem.

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