PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT) – ERIC AGBE-CARBONU ON UNADDRESSED CONCERNS OF TEACHERS, ON WEDNESDAY 31ST JULY, 2019

PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT) – ERIC AGBE-CARBONU ON UNADDRESSED CONCERNS OF TEACHERS, ON WEDNESDAY 31ST JULY, 2019

Dear Chairman,
PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT) –
ERIC AGBE-CARBONU ON UNADDRESSED CONCERNS OF TEACHERS, ON
WEDNESDAY 31ST JULY, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen of the Media, Good Morning and a warm welcome to the NAGRAT
Lyceum. The perennial inertia of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the nonchalant
posture of its Management in resolving issues of concern to the Ghanaian Teacher has
necessitated our meeting this morning. We are grateful you are here and trust that you
will bring these to the attention of the good people of Ghana.
These concerns, Ladies and Gentlemen, include but not limited to;
1. Recall of SHS THREE Teachers from their holidays
2. Unworkable Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS)
3. Promotions and related Issues
4. Non-Payment of Salary Arrears to Teachers.
5. GES-SIC Life Policy and,
6. Appointment of non-GES personnel into GES Management

1. Recall of SHS THREE Teachers from their holidays
A fortnight ago leadership of NAGRAT sighted a circular signed by the Director General of
the Ghana Education Service (GES) directing students to report back to school on the 19th
of August, 2019 instead of September 7, 2019. This came as a shock to us since there was
no consultation or discussion with Teacher Unions to engage members during the vacation
period which is also the rest period for teachers. This action by GES smacks of disrespect
and taking the services of the Ghanaian Teacher for granted. There is this sad and
erroneous belief that any pittance dangled before the Ghanaian Teacher is enough to
solicit his or her services.
It should be noted, Ladies and Gentlemen, that per the nature of our work, teachers don’t
go on leave while school is in session. As part of the arrangement of the Semester System,
teachers are supposed to enjoy an uninterrupted 16-weeks’ vacation in between semesters.
Let us note that it is also the period when the teachers are marking and assessing their
students. Describing the engagement of Teachers during vacation as an Intervention
Exercise is very erroneous since the various schools have instituted Intervention
Programme during the normal school period.
In the light of the above, any desire or intention to engage Teachers during their rest period
(holidays) must be negotiated for and cannot be compulsory. Teachers should have the
right to opt to be part of such exercise or not to be part of it. We call on the Director General
of the GES to come to the negotiation table so that we discuss the rate and mode of payment
for teachers who are interested should this classes be organized at all.

2. Unworkable Human Resource Management Information System
The new Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) put in place by the
Public Services Commission has turned out to be an epitome of bureaucratic rigidity that
is impeding efficiencies in the management of staff and the running of our schools. We can
say categorically that its introduction has made it extremely difficult for Teachers to
transfer from one school to another and next to impossible for teachers who were on Study
Leave with or without pay to be re-instated immediately after their studies. It has also made
it impossible for teachers with responsibility allowance to be placed at the right level and
paid their right salary after their promotion. For instance, if a school loses a teacher, the
vacancy cannot be filled even with a teacher who is already on salary until the school
receives financial clearance through a very tedious process. This has given rise to the
situation where some classrooms are without teachers to manage the students. Given the
size of the GES, we are strongly of the view that a separate HRMIS be acquired for it.

3. Promotions and Related Issues
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, NAGRAT finds it very difficult to fathom why writing
and issuing Promotion Letters have become such a herculean task for the Management of
the GES. Teachers have attended promotion interviews and passed yet, issuing them with
letters to that effect has been left hanging for close to four years. From 2015 to 2018 the
GES failed to release Promotion Letters to most of the successful teachers. Those who
received Promotion Letters did not have the effective date of promotion on their letters.
Several reminders from the Teacher Unions to the GES yielded no significant result. While
acknowledging that some Teachers promoted from Principal Superintendent to Assistant
Director II were placed on scale in July, not a single teacher on the Assistant Director I and
Deputy Director grades was placed. We see this as a grand scheme to delay the teachers’
progression to their next promotion. This undue delay results in staff of GES staying on
the same grade for five or more years while their counterparts elsewhere in the Public
Service are promoted after four years on a grade. This practice does not only cause anxiety
among teachers who are scared of accumulating arrears that may not be even paid but also
discriminate against teaching as a profession. Many teachers who were promoted have
retired without enjoying the benefits of their promotion. The National Association of
Graduate Teachers calls for an end to this discrimination against Teachers. In addition, we
call for the placement of promoted teachers on their right scales and the payment of
allowances due Teachers, Form Masters, Housemasters, etc.

4. Non-Payment of Salary Arrears to Teachers
Salary Arrears resulting from the infamous Three Months Payment Policy of 2013 is still
creating a lot of disquiet among teachers. Even though a major promise of this government
was to pay salary arrears in its first year, that promise has turned into a mirage. Many
teachers owed arrears were hopeful that they would be paid by the end of March, 2019 as
promised by the President of the Republic. While acknowledging that some payments were
made in April of 2019, most of the arrears are still unpaid. We are anxious to know when
we will receive our salary arrears. We want the Ministries of Finance and Labour and
Employment Relations to come clear on the exact time such teachers will be paid their
arrears.

5. GES-SIC Life Policy
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, NAGRAT is appalled by the insensitive and heavyhanded approach the management of GES has taken in the GES-SIC Life policy issue. The
unyielding desire of management to impose an insurance policy on staff without their
consent creates suspicion as to the real intentions of the policy. Even though the Teacher
Unions have made it clear that such a policy should be optional for interested teachers to
apply, GES management thinks otherwise. They have usurped the right of teachers to
choose by conscripting even teachers who have exited the scheme. NAGRAT sees the
compulsory deduction of premium from teachers who have not applied to part of the policy
in July of 2019 as an attempt to bully teachers. Consequently, we call on the GES to
immediately stop the illegal deductions and refund all monies deducted to their owners by
the end of August 2019. If the GES does not heed this advice, Teachers will withdraw their
services from the 1ST of September, 2019.

6. Appointment of non-GES personnel into GES Management
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media the National Association of Graduate Teachers is
worried by the emerging trend where non- service personnel are appointed to Top
Management positions in the Ghana Education Service. Our position is that if Frontline
Directors are appointed from people who had gone through the mill within the service, it
promotes fluidity and offers hope to officers of the service. We call on the Ministry of
Education to look within for competent people to run the service since Teachers are capable
of running their Service. Such people are familiar with the terrain and quickly adjust to the
new responsibilities. We call on the Ministry of Education to follow best practices with its
appointment policies in order to sustain staff motivation in the GES.

Conclusion
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, from the foregoing it is clear that there are a lot of
challenges bedeviling the profession and our quest to promote quality education. It is
clearer still that these are not unsurmountable problems. Indeed, most of these could have
been resolved long ago if the employer had shown commitment to addressing same.
NAGRAT is not making new demands on government. We are only calling on government
to respect the Labour Act and carry out its obligation to teachers. However, since our
employer has exhibited bad faith in spite of the numerous concessions made by teacher
unions NAGRAT is sounding notice to the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education
Service that we will not be able to restrain our members from advising themselves if these
demands are not met by the 31st of August, 2019. We thank you for coming

https://nagrat.org/press-conference…y-31st-july-2019/

July 31, 2019

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UNRESOLVED GRIEVANCES OF THE STAFF OF THE GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT) - GHANA National Secretariat P. O. Box NM 329 Accra –Ghana 4th July, 2014

Tel:  233-0302-403454

www.nagrat.org E-mail:info@nagrat.org   THE CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LABOUR COMMISSION PRIVATE MAIL BAG ACCRA       THE CHAIRMAN GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE COUNCIL P. O. BOX M 45 ACCRA     Dear Sir,

 UNRESOLVED GRIEVANCES OF THE STAFF OF THE GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE

We write to complain about the way and manner government and the Ghana Education Service management have handled grievances of the staff of the service. From 2010 to date, the unions of the Ghana Education Service have raised concerns on grievances that have been left unresolved by the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and for that matter government. These grievances have been the major reasons behind various strikes, demonstration; and petitions, and yet their redress remains far from sight. Sir, you would recall that in May 2014 the grievances listed below caused the National Association of Graduate Teachers to serve notice of its intention of industrial action on the National Labour Commission and the subsequent declaration of industrial action. They are:
  1. Second Tier Pension Scheme
  2. Payment of Outstanding Incremental Credits for 2011 and 2012
  3. Non-payment of Transfer Grants and T&T Allowances to Teachers Transferred from 2010 to date
  4. Three (3) Months Pay Policy on Newly Recruited Staff, Promotions and Re-engagement
  5. Revision of WAEC Invigilation Allowances.
Consequent upon that industrial action, a meeting was convened between the government team and the Teacher Unions on 15th May, 2014 to resolve the issues relating to teachers of the Ghana Education Service. At the meeting various agreements were reached on the issues and a Communiqué signed. (Vide copy for your study and use). We wish to bring to your notice that government and the GES management have failed to adhere to the tenets of the Communiqué they signed. A case in point is that on the payments of not more than three (3) months’ salary arrears. The agreement is that District Directors of education would submit completed templates for payment of the remaining arrears to Regional Directors latest by 16th May, 2014 and that payment are expected by the end of June 2014. Sir, we are now in July and most of the templates are still at the District Directorates. Payments for those that have been submitted to headquarters have not been made. On transfer grants, the Communiqué mandated District Directors to collate data on qualified beneficiaries by end of May 2014. Stakeholders were to be invited upon receipt of the data for a verification and validation exercise for payments to be effected. We have moved through June to July, 2014 yet the Stakeholders’ meeting has not been convened. Needless to say, the verifications and validation exercise has not taken place and a date for payment not known. Closely linked to the payment of transfer grant is the staff deployment and rationalization exercise. Government and the GES management agreed to suspend the exercise and source funding for the payment of transfer grants and T&T of teachers transferred since 2010. As of now the outstanding grants and allowance have not been paid yet teachers are being transferred under the exercise Collection of data on teachers who were transferred has been done for the group of 2014 to the neglect of all those transferred from 2010 to 2013. On the strength of that Communiqué and the genuine desire to create the congenial climate for further negotiations, NAGRAT called off its strike on 21st May, 2014. On the same day, the National Labour Commission (NLC) invited the parties to a meeting aimed at resolving the grievances. It is pertinent to point out that while NAGRAT and the FWSC attended the meeting other parties namely the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations failed to honour the invitation. The NLC scheduled another meeting for 18th June, 2014. The National Labour Commission notwithstanding issued some directive to be responded to by 11th June, 2014 prior to the meeting of 18th June, 2014. (Please find copy attached) Sir, it is interesting to note that the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service which had invited NAGRAT to a meeting on that day postponed the meeting indefinitely when NAGRAT called off the strike. That meeting has not been reconvened to date. This is a clear indication of the lack of commitment of government and the GES management to resolving the grievances of the Ghana Education Service Staff. When National Officers of NAGRAT reported at the premises of the National Labour Commission on 18th June, 2014, they were told that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely. It is almost three (3) weeks now and the National Labour Commission has left the issues hanging without any communication with the leadership of the Association. Sir, teachers are getting increasingly convinced that their grievances are systematically trivialized. We want to state emphatically that should any unpleasant outcome occur, teachers will take no share of blame. Their patience has been stretched to the limit and the disquiet is becoming alarming.   Yours faithfully,     Stanislaus P. Nabome General Secretary Cc:
  1. The Honourable Minister,
Ministry of Education Accra
  1. The Honourable Minister
Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations Accra
  1. The Honourable Minster,
Ministry of Finance Accra
  1. The Chief Executive
Fair Wages and Salaries Commission Accra
  1. The Director General
Ghana Education Service Accra
  1. The General Secretary
Ghana National Association of Teachers Accra
  1. The General Secretary
Teacher and Educational Workers Union Accra
  1. The President
Coalition of Concerned Teachers Accra
  1. All Regional Chairmen,
NAGRAT Regional Secretariat