Disquiet among teacher unions over 4-7% base pay increment

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Dr. Yaw Adutwum
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum

Three teacher unions are up in arms against the government over the new base pay increment for public sector workers for 2021 and 2022.

The unions; Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), believe teachers have long been shortchanged following the government’s inability to improve their conditions of service.

Government announced a base pay increment of 4 percent for 2021 and 7 percent for 2022.

In addition, the national minimum wage was increased by 6 percent for 2021 and 8 percent for 2022.

Speaking at the gathering of teachers at the 6th Quadrennial and 53rd Greater Regional Delegates Conference of GNAT, its Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Ransford Lolih, said there was “so much apprehension and agitation” amongst members of the unions.

According to him: “The anger building up amongst our members must be taken seriously if we want a congenial atmosphere for teaching and learning in our schools.

“I will call on leadership to take a second look at the level of increment announced for public sector workers for the next two years.”

NAGRAT’s Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Rene Senyo Kwamikokor, also highlighted the concerns of GNAT, noting it added to other concerns with the conditions of service of teachers.

“Our problems are many, and we urge the rep of government here to listen to them, especially that of GNAT so that there will be relief for teachers,” he was quoted by citinewsroom.com as saying.

Aware of the concerns by unions, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Yaw Baah, urged workers to be calm at a separate press conference.

“The outcome was not what we had expected, but it could have been worse, given the economic challenges and the stance of government towards pay rise, particularly in 2021,” Dr. Baah noted.

The TUC, which negotiated with the government as part of organised labour, was able to ensure that, within the next two years, the government shall not declare any public sector worker redundant.

They also agreed that the government shall not freeze employment in the public service, and that all workers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 during the next two years.

It also agreed that government will pay social security contributions regularly.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH AND NEWS AGENCIES

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