The Ghana Education Service is shocked by the decision of three Teacher Unions to embark on a strike over the non-payment of salary arrears.
The three Unions –Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH)– declared the strike action which will take effect on Monday, December 9 following aseries of engagements with the government on Legacy Arrears incurred between 2012 and 2016.
In the jointly signed statement, the Unions say the lack of adherence on the part of the government to these demands has necessitated the December 9 action.
They, therefore, directed all members to stay out of classrooms across the country in protests of the “sufferings” endured “as a result of the negligence.”
But the GES in a statement copied to Joy News explained that the Legacy Arrears relate to outstanding salary arrears between 2012 and 2016 and affected about 120,232 staff of the Service.
“The Legacy Arrears was as a result of the policy by the then government which allowed the payment of three months of salary arrears owed any employee in the Public Service. All other arrears were to be justified and validated by the Audit Service before payment.
“Since 2017, the current government has taken deliberate actions to pay off the arrears due to those who deserve them. It is significant to note that as of September 2019, about 87,556 staff of GES had been paid their full salary arrears, representing 95% of total staff validated for payment,” the statement said.
GES also noted that since then further actions have been taken to pay the arrears and at a meeting with the Teacher Unions on December 2, some agreements were reached.
“It is therefore with utmost shock that Management has learnt of the purported declaration of the strike action and states that the conduct of the Union leaders is grossly an abuse of the principle of good faith and good working relations which have been established and nurtured over the years.”
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Michael Osei-Owusu is a Ghanaian EduTech blogger and a teacher.