The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has disassociated itself from a strike action declared by six of its regional chairmen over what they described as unfavourable working conditions.
In an interview with ABC News, the General Secretary of GNAT, Mr David Ofori Acheampong said the strike action was not sanctioned by NEC, who reserve the right to issue such directives for all of its members nationwide.
He therefore urged all of its members and the general public to disregard such directives as they do not represent the position of the national executive members of the Association.
“The fact is that GNAT is not on strike because such directives have to come from the National Executive Committee and not the sub-committee at the regional level. Once this is not coming from us, we dissociate ourselves from it,” he said.
The rebuttal from Mr Acheampong follows a statement released by six out of the 10 regional branches of the Association yesterday, indicating that they are embarking on the industrial action following the inability of their employer, the Ghana Education Service (GES) to resolve challenges confronting its members.
The statement sited non-renewal of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, GES/SIC Group Life Insurance Policy deductions, non-payment of salary arrears, challenges confronting the implementation of the new curriculum as some of the issues affecting it members.
It said failure on the part of the GES to resolve the aforementioned issues had frustrated its members, hence its decision to lay down their tools to impress upon the government to respond to their plight.
The announcement followed a similar action undertaken by the National Association of Graduate Teachers over the newly introduced Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) acquired by the Public Services Commission, unpaid allowances, delayed promotions among other issues.
Mr Acheampong however expressed shock that its regional executives would sidestep the national executive body to undertake the action particularly at a time when they were still engaging with the employer to have the issues resolved.
“I know the names that are typed under the statement. But we cannot authenticate the signatures because that is not the procedure to engage if they have to do what they have done.
“My understanding is that they were supposed to be at the office yesterday for us to discuss some issues but they did not show up, only for us to see the circulation on social media. They have neither sent us any official statement,” he said.
He said the national executive body will communicate its position on the matter to all of its members in the respective regions and update them on progress as regards the concerns raised.
“We are going to extend communication to our members in the regions because the issues are known to the men who said they are on strike. So the impression is that our members on the grounds have not been briefed. Henceforth, we are going to channel this information direct to our members on the grounds,” Mr Acheampong said.