As the John Mahama-led administration’s tenure ends on January 7, some teacher unions have expressed their disappointment about the outgoing administration’s handling of the various teacher related issues that came up within the period.
The administration faced challenges in the education sector including strikes by a number of teacher unions in the country over unpaid salary arrears, issues pertaining to teacher recruitment, and the scrapping of some allowances enjoyed by teachers and teacher trainees.
Speaking to Citi News, the Communications Director for the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), Ayiquaye Awule, indicated that the handling of the salary arrears was poor.
Mr. Awule said the concerns with the handling of salary arrears were compounded by the three-month salary arrears policy that was introduced by the outgoing National Democratic Congress government.
He explained that “instead of having their papers processed so that within three months they will receive their salaries, for some of them, it will take more than one year or two years and they have not received their salaries and government brought this policy that they should give you only three months’ salary arrears and it means the rest you have to justify why you should take that money.”
Mr. Awule also noted that teacher promotions were stalled and not accompanied by the required remuneration when effected.
“Our promotions are stagnating. Instead of five years, it will take you seven or eight years to be promoted. When you are promoted too, you will not be put on scale. I am a clear example of that one; promoted as far back as 2015, I receive the same old salary of 2015.”
GNAT scores gov’t 50 percent
Meanwhile, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, scored the outgoing government’s handling of the education matters at 50 percent.
According to its General Secretary, David Ofori Acheampong, this is largely due to the performance of the Minister of Employment and Labour, Haruna Iddrisu.
“In terms of labour issues I will say yes and no. Yes and no because they had a very dynamic Minister for Labour and Employment. Haruna Iddrisu has done a good job. He is a good negotiator; he is an honest individual to deal with.”
With regards to the handling of labour disputes, he largely blamed the Finance Ministry.
“The problem we have had is that after we have done everything and the numbers have been validated and cleared for payment, we always had problems with the Ministry of Finance because they would have to issue out the instructions to the Controller and Accountant General to effect the payment.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana