In spite of a directive by the National Labour Commission, instructing the striking teacher unions to call off their industrial action, the Coalition of Concerned Teachers has resolved to sustain the strike until their concerns were addressed, ABC News can report.
Describing the directive as intimidation tactics adopted by the NLC, the union maintained it will not rescind its decision until the arrears owed the teachers were paid.
The NLC yesterday said the ongoing strike by the various teacher unions over salary arrears was illegal and ordered the teachers to return to the classrooms.
The Commission said it took the decision after none of the representatives of the teacher unions showed up at a meeting scheduled to discuss the issue although notices were sent to them.
However, according to the President of CCT, King Ali Awudu, the coalition did not receive any official letter from the Commission about the said meeting, stressing nonetheless that “we are not so much scared about the decision of the labor commission declaring our strike illegal.”
He said he could not fathom why the Commission would issue the directive particularly at a time when the striking teacher unions were collaborating with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to resolve the issue amicably.
To him, the Government’s posture on the matter enforces their strike action as it demonstrates the lack of commitment on the part of the government to resolve the issue.
“The radio “noises” they have been making and the intimidation tactics to force us to go to school will not work,” King Ali Awudu stressed.
He continued that “We have already started cooperating with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to solve the issue amicably. Whiles, we are finding ways and means to solve the issue amicably, the Labour Commission comes out to give this directive including the GES Council Chairman which we regard as an insult to us. This posture infuriates us the more. They should rather tell us something comforting so that we can plead with our teachers to end the strike.”
The three teacher unions, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), are currently on a strike demanding the payment of salary arrears.
The NLC, which says the action is illegal and a breach of labor laws, directed the teachers to call off the strike and return to work.
A meeting between the NLC and the three teacher unions which was scheduled for Tuesday morning was canceled. The teachers have resolved not to return to class until the arrears owed them is cleared.