UTAG: MPs ex-gratia makes teachers ‘second-class’ citizens

General News of Thursday, 4 April 2013

Source: citifmonline

Inside Parliament View

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has said the payment of ex-gratia by government to former Members of Parliament shows the unfairness which exists between government and public sector workers.

Government has released money to be paid to former MPs who served in the fifth Parliament of the fourth Republic as ex-gratia.

Meanwhile, government has declined to fully pay the one-year market premium arrears owed to members of UTAG although the Lecturers are currently on strike.

A meeting between UTAG and government on Thursday was inconclusive leading to a reinforcement of the strike.

The President of UTAG, Anthony Simmons told Citi News, the action by government confirms the treatment of teachers as ‘second class citizens’ in the labour sector.

“It simply tells you in this country we have first class citizens and we have second class citizens. Most probably, the second class citizens are the teachers so it’s up to Ghanaians to judge for themselves.”

He continued saying, “tell me which teacher teaches for more than 30 years and goes on pension and gets even one quarter of what is being given out? Tell me, 40 years in service, 30 years in service and what is their pension? When we are talking about fair pay for equal jobs for everyone; why should some people come under an umbrella like Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and others not?”

Mr. Simmons also indicated that the Teachers will consider the possibility of extending the academic calendar to make up for number of days teachers will be outside the classrooms.

“The students, we love them, we have them at heart but you know, ‘Sika ye mogya’ so we need that money to keep us going and if we delay so much, we will make room for the loss. We will extend the calendar.”