Nationwide demo to hit Akufo-Addo gov’t over imposition of GES-SIC insurance policy

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The leadership of the group addressing the press

Some Ghana Education Service (GES) staff have planned to hit the streets, to protest against the policy that seeks to insure employees in the service.

The group, calling themselves Forum for Justice say government’s approach to forcibly enrol them onto the policy is “illegal”.

The introduction of the GES-SIC Life Policy has been met with some agitation by some teacher associations.

Concerns

The Policy, which had member contribution GHC10.00 per month being deducted by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department since June 2018, was halted for some time but the deduction is set to resume on July 8, this year.

At a press conference held in Kumasi on Monday, July 1, 2019, the President of the group, Prosper Takyi spoke against the development and insisted the imposition was to frustrate and abuse the rights of teachers.

“The Ghana Education Service has no legal mandate to effect any deduction on the workers’ salary without permission from the worker or an explicit permission by a statute. We are not against the the policy, …we demand that the GES and SIC should design and print proposal forms for the individual staff who is interested to fill, sign and validate the contract but not to be enrolled on the scheme by default…” Mr Prosper Takyi stated.

“Why has GES/SIC not refunded the monies which were illegally deducted in June 2018, through the same medium it was effected but now asking members to fill exit forms for the fund?” Mr. Takyi quizzed, adding that “it will cost the teacher more that GHC10.00 to travel from place of work to either GES or SIC office to submit the exit form which does not make economic sense”.

The group said it will embark on series of demonstrations against the policy if deductions have been effected after salary validation after July 20, 2019.

About the policy

Under the policy, all teaching and non-teaching staff of the Ghana Education Service who die or suffer a permanent disability would be given a cover of up to ¢18,000 depending on the medical report.

Those who suffer illness such as cancer, stroke, major organ transplant and kidney failure would be given a cover up to ¢9,000. A critical illness that renders a member totally and permanently disabled receives a full pay-out of ¢18,000.

This will attract a monthly premium of ¢10 per month for a member and there is also a cashback of 10% if no claim is made within three years and a monthly premium.

The Ashanti Regional President of the Coalition of Concern Teachers CCT, Mr Godfred Mcthetheh Ansah in an interview said, when the insurance policy showed up last year, his office wrote to the Kumasi Metro Director and Ashanti Regional Directors of Education and clearly stated their position that their members were not interested in the scheme.

He said in January this year, he had a meeting with the Kumasi Metro Director and the Regional Director over the imposition and said it was wrong.

According to him, many teachers have already subscribed to various insurance policies of their choice so there was no need for a new policy to be imposed on them by the GES.

“If I have not signed any contract with you, why do I have to fill an exit form to terminate the contract, this does not make sense,” he said.

The Ashanti Regional President of GNAT, Peter Boateng, on his part also said they were aware of the attempt by the GES to introduce the insurance policy for teachers but had failed to do a national sensitization for the people involved.

He explained that GNAT had since June last year reminded the GES-SIC to ensure that it goes the entire country to sensitize all teachers on the policy and the benefits that with it so they would decide whether to join or not.

Some teacher associations also maintain that the compulsory deduction is in sharp contradiction of section 69(2)(b) of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), which states that “…an employer shall not deduct from remuneration due a worker, any amount whatsoever, unless the deduction is permitted by section 70 or by any other statute or is by way of repayment of an advance of remuneration lawfully made by the employer to the worker”.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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