The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations is expected to meet the leadership of the striking teachers over their demands for 20% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
The four teacher unions: Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), announced their industrial action at a joint news conference on Monday, July 4, 2022.
According to the unions, their request has become necessary as the country’s economic conditions continue to worsen.
Ahead of the meeting with stakeholders, the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers, Angel Carbonu said the unions expect a significant response from government.
“I hope Wednesday’s meeting will arrive at a concrete answer to the demands that we have made, and not appeal to us that it is in the pipeline,” he said.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed Heads of Senior High Schools through the Regional and District Directors to mobilise their Management teams to ensure the safety of all students in schools.
But The Deputy Ranking Member for Education, Clement Apaak has suggested that the Ghana Education Service close down schools over the strike action declared by four teacher unions.
Addressing the press in Parliament, Dr Apaak called on the government to meet the needs of the striking teachers immediately or shut down the schools.
He said this will ensure the safety and security of students while their teachers are on strike.
He blamed the government for failing to meet the demands of the teachers over the COLA, stressing ” Close to 7 million students are currently not benefitting from teaching and learning.”
“We want to urge the government to address the concerns of teachers, so they can go back to the classrooms without any further delay,” he urged.
“If this goes on beyond two to three days, it will be advisable for the GES to direct that the schools are closed down for the safety and security of students, but ultimately government bears the responsibility to ensure that the needful is done.”
The teachers’ anger follows the expiration of a June 30 deadline they gave the government to act.
National Labour Commission
Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has urged the government to take the necessary steps to immediately resolve the grievances of teachers working with public schools.
The NLC has therefore written to the government to engage the striking teachers while it has called on them to also rescind their industrial action.
“You are hereby requested to engage the aggrieved Teachers Unions immediately upon receipt of this correspondence to negotiate settlement of their grievance(s) within seven (7) days and furnish the Commission with a Report upon completion,” the statement copied to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Minister of Education said.