Teachers across the country have given government up to Monday, February 29, 2016 to address their concerns or face indefinite nationwide strike action.
They cited non-payment of transfer grants, the 24 months incremental credit arrears and the policy of paying only three months of salary arrears irrespective of the total number of accumulated months as some of their concerns.
The rest are non-payment of vehicle maintenance allowances to deserving teachers, outstanding transfer grants and travel and transport allowances.
Christian Addai-Opoku, President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), who was speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said teachers in the country are sick and tired of the impunity.
“We are tired of drawing up roadmaps for payment of arrears; we are tired of setting up committees to look into these issues.
“For every day that passes without the payment of these arrears to over 30,000 affected teachers, some teachers commit suicide, some die because they have no money to foot medical bills and fend for their households, some are prosecuted for not being able to repay loans taken and some quit the service out of frustration.
“Let President Mahama be told that for any irreversible damage that this unpopular policy of non-payment of arrears beyond three months will cause any teacher, government will be held directly responsible,” he said.
Mr Addai-Opoku said teachers don’t have the power to frontally confront government but “we know that perfectly one day, they will regrettably pay for these pain and atrocities teachers are suffering under them.”
Blame Accountant General
The NAGRAT President blamed the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for worsening their plight.
According to him, the Account General’s behavior in resolving the issues tends to give credence to the allegation that some people at the department are benefitting from the chaos.
He warned government to pay all arrears due teachers by the end of February 2016 or face indefinite strike, stating “This time no roadmap will be accepted.
“No technical committee will be set up. No pleas will be heeded and no ruling of National Labour Commission (NLC) will be obeyed, all we want is the payment of all arrears.”
The National President urged teachers across the country to brace themselves for the fight ahead.
By Cephas Larbi