COLA Strike: Government adjourns negotiations with organised labour unions

The meeting between the government and organised labour unions over the Cost of Living Allowance(COLA) has been adjourned to a further date.

According to the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wereko-Brobbey, the adjournment was due to the refusal of some labour unions to call off their strike before negotiations commence.

“We have had to adjourn the meeting because both parties; labour and government think that we cannot do this whiles a party is on strike so the agreement is that we are going off to talk to each other. They call off the strike and we come again to meet,” he told Joy News.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wereko-Brobbey together with other government officials were present at the meeting.

He noted that the meeting will be reconvened in the course of the week for negotiations to continue.

Prior to the adjournment, two teacher unions excused themselves from the negotiations with the government over their demands for Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Graduate Association of Teachers (NAGRAT) accused government of betrayal of mistrust for asking them to call off their strike before negotiations.

“By indicating and asking us to call off our strike before negotiations begin exactly. What it means is that the government side is not ready to continue negotiations unless the teacher unions call off the strike. They have held all organised labour hostage, this is a betrayal of trust.

“Right now since we are undesirable before they even walk us out of the meeting we are walking out of the meeting ourselves,” NAGRAT President, Angel Carbonu told the media on Tuesday.

Four teacher unions have laid down their tools following government’s failure to pay the allowance for them, which they say could have helped to mitigate the impact of the rising cost of living.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and other labour groups are also demanding 20% of their basic salary as COLA.

Despite a plea by President Akufo-Addo to reconsider their stance, the unions maintain they will not back down on their demands.

“We are still on strike; we have not called off the strike. We are happy that we’ve been invited for a discussion on Tuesday [July 12].

“We are hopeful that we will have something tangible to send to our rank and file, and call off the strike,” the Gender Coordinator for the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Rebecca Ocran Abaidoo, told JoyNews.



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