Teacher unions in Ghana threaten strike over unpaid arrears

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A planned meeting with government officials was botched after teacher unions on Friday staged a walkout protesting delays in payment of salary arrears owed by some teachers.

The teacher unions, namely the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT-Gh) filed out of the meeting held in Accra in anger and frustration.

The meeting, it is gathered, was called to discuss the way forward regarding what the teachers term “legacy arrears” that span from 2012-2016.

Their anxiety heightened after the Ghana Education Service said it had discovered some discrepancies with some payments made by the Controller and Accountant General Department after the data was sent to them for a review.

But the teacher unions who vehemently rejected the claim called on the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that the arrears owed teachers are paid by December 5, 2019.

The President of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, King Ali Awudu, in an interview said a strike action would be declared the next day if their demands are not met.

“We don’t want to be mischievous. We’ve given them up till 5th December but if 5th December, the monies do not hit the account of the teachers them expect us to withdraw our services the following Monday, I assure you”, he told Accra-based Citi FM.

This latest call follows the previous failures to meet deadlines to pay the arrears owed teachers.

Mr. Awudu recounted that the last deadline that was missed by the Government was in November.

“We have had too many deadlines. The last deadline that we had was for everybody to be paid in November. Unfortunately, they only called us to tell us about challenges that they were facing for which reason they couldn’t pay.”

Despite the purported appeals from the government, the President of Coalition said the teachers were losing faith in the dialogues.

“We think that all those challenges that they are enumerating if indeed they exist, are not challenges that are supposed to be solved by us the teacher unions so we think they are dilly-dallying with us.”

Present at the meeting were representative of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Controller and Accountant General Department, the Audit Service and the Ghana Education Service.

By J. Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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