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PRESS CONFERENCE ON VIOLATIONS OF THE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF TEACHERS BY GOVERNMENT

PRESS CONFERENCE ON VIOLATIONS OF THE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF TEACHERS BY GOVERNMENT

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, we are pleased to welcome you to the Lyceum and are grateful that you honoured our invitation to this Press Conference even at extremely short notice.

It is unfortunate that this Press Conference like others addressed earlier is another cry for justice in the labour landscape with exclusive reference to teachers in the Ghana Education Service.  By this communication, the leadership and the entire membership of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT)-Ghana, express utmost disappointment over government’s continuous lip-services to grievances of teachers tabled by the Teacher Unions since its inception.  Over the past eleven (11) months, the Unions have been dialoguing with government on the need to settle all its indebtedness to teachers but all we have to show for our efforts and goodwill has been promises upon promises. The Minister of Education in particular has been assuring of the payment because according to him it is budgeted for. If that is true then why are we not being paid?

Ladies and gentlemen, this government came into office on the wings of provision of quality education with the teacher at the centre of its education agenda. It therefore defies all rules of normal reasoning that such a teacher-centred government would ignore legitimate entitlements of teachers for the past eleven months in spite of consistent reminders on the need to make good its own promises and assurances.  We call on government to wake up from its slumber and give deserving teachers their due.  Even though the grievances have been downplayed to appear banal and trite, we shall go over them again for recapitulation.

 

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCES, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT ALLOWANCES AND TRANSFER GRANTS

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, it is sickening that government owes deserving teachers vehicle maintenance allowances, travel and transport allowances and transfer grants from 2013 to date in a brazen and blatant breach of the Collective Agreement between teachers and their employer.  It is even more shameful that some of the amounts involved are as paltry as five Ghana cedis (GH ¢5.00) a month.  It is absolutely untenable to lay such irresponsibility on the alter of budgetary constraints.  For want of stronger words we can only say that the negligence we suffer is a clear demonstration of malice. It also buttresses the long stand claim that education is only good as a campaign tool but as a nation we are not ready to spend on it.

These are the realities on the ground amidst the well-rehearsed threats on teachers should they default in the performance of any of their duties.

 

 

SALARY ARREARS

Ladies and gentlemen, as at this Press Conference, there are tens of thousands of teachers whose salaries have been in arrears since 2013, their having satisfied all validation requirements notwithstanding.  During the transition period, these issues were bought to the fore.  Subsequently, the Minister of Education assured teachers that all the said salary arrears had been captured in the approved 2017 budget for the Ghana Education Service.  Unfortunately, in the well-known characteristic style, it has remained promises and assurances any time the matter is raised at meetings.  With the greatest respect, we wish to remind government that the labourer deserves his wages.  As long as government cannot return the services already rendered by teachers to them it must pay the wages deserved at the commercial rate of returns over the period.  What is even more unnerving is that the present government keeps on adding to its indebtedness by failing to pay even obligations that have been accruing in 2017.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Ladies and gentlemen, painful experiences are summarized not expatiated. We however want to make it clear that as a nation we cannot expect to get the best results in education if teachers are treated with disdain and disrespect. Let it be told and let it be heard that no matter the kinds of performance contract government signs with heads of school, we should forget about improvement if the usual mistreatment of teachers is not dealt with.

After the elections last year we celebrated and jubilated because a government that appeared serious about education won the election. But now we feel let down. The constant promises are now sounding melodiously as lies in our ears. We demand immediate payment of all government indebtedness to teachers or we will start flexing our muscles as never before.

We wish to assure government, that if all these outstanding concerns are not addressed completely before 31st December, schools will reopen alright for the second term of the 2017/2018 academic year but without teachers. Those who bring anti-infested firewood home must always be ready to accept the blame when lizards come to feast.

Thank you.

 

December 14, 2017

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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