Under the law, we can’t negotiate when you’re on strike – Govt tells teachers

The striking teachers have been told that negotiations with them cannot begin when they are still embarking on their industrial action.

Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko Brobbey who made this statement explained that the labour law does not permit negotiations when the strike is still in force.

His statement comes after representatives of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Graduate Association of Teachers (NAGRAT) walked out of  a negotiation Tuesday afternoon.

The negotiation with the government was over their demand for Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for which they have embarked on a strike.

The two associations accused government of betrayal of trust for asking them to call off their strike before negotiations.

Speaking to Power FM reporter Wisdom Hededzome after the walk out, Angel Carbonu, President for NAGRAT said the government’s posturing smacks of mistrust as it wanted the teachers to call of the strike before any negotiation.

To him, that is not possible now.

But Mr Brobbey  told journalists in Accra after a meeting with labour unions, “we started engaging them. Last Friday we met them and then we adjourned the meeting to today. You will recall that the Minister for Employment issued a statement and he appealed to them to call off the strike and for the government’s side to meet the entire organized labour because this was a matter that affected all labour unions, and so we were expecting that we will come here and the teacher unions would have called off the strike because section 161 of the Labour law does not permit negotiations or engagements when one party is on strike or lookout.

He continued, “So before the commencement of the meeting the government side had wanted to engage the teacher unions so that we see the way forward on the appeal we made to them last Friday. Unfortunately, organized labour were in solidarity since they had all come, we should meet them at once.”



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