Teachers across the country are the latest to join the bandwagon of labour agitations in Ghana.
The teacher unions comprising the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) are up in heels with the government over what they say are developments hampering academic teaching and learning.
The agitations of the teachers stem from poor remuneration, inadequate teaching and learning resources, contact and working hours, upgrading of teachers, and issues regarding promotions among others.
A joint statement signed by the three teacher unions attributed the poor quality of education, especially at the first cycle institutions in the country to the low morale of the teachers.
Issuing a one-month ultimatum to the government, the teachers said they will not hesitate to lay down their tools if the government fails to address their concerns.
“We, the teacher unions are hereby serving notice that if by the close of September 2021, all these issues are not resolved in full by the employer, then we will have no option than to advise ourselves in the best interest of our members within the framework of our collective agreement and the applicable laws of Ghana.”
The threats by the pretertiary education unions come after the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), directed all its members to withdraw all teaching and related activities on campus beginning Monday, August 2.
The Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana also declared a strike effective August 2, in connection with the failure by the government to resolve issues concerning their conditions of service.
Meanwhile, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu is predicting more turbulence on the labour front in the months ahead, which will hugely impact the economy.
This he attributes to the government’s decision to increase the salary of public sector workers by a paltry 4%.
“The public sector workers of Ghana can have no smiles into 2022. When inflation is at 8% or 9%, the appropriate thing to do in terms of minimum wage negotiation is to place the wage increase, not above inflation.”
“So if you say inflation is 8% or 9%, increase the wages by just 8% or 9%, that is the best practice and that has been the practice,” Mr Iddrisu said in a contribution to the debate on the mid-year budget review in Parliament last week.
The former Employment Minister added that that the increase in wages by 4% is a “recipe for the industrial conflicts” the country is witnessing.