The Ministry of Education has directed the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) not to process the August salaries and allowances for members of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG), who are currently on strike.
Members of CETAG have embarked on a strike from August 1, 2023, to press home demands for the government to adhere to the negotiated conditions of service.
A letter signed by the Director of Administration of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Saaka Sayiti, however, said, “Any arrears before August 2023 should be validated and paid”.
“We write at the instance of the Minister of Education, requesting you not to pay monthly salary and allowances for the month of August 2023 to the teaching staff of all the 46 colleges of education.
“However, any arrears before August 2023 should be validated and paid,” the letter from GTEC, dated August 21, 2023, and addressed to the CAGD said.
A statement dated July 10, 2023, and jointly signed by the President of CETAG, Prince Obeng-Himah, and the acting Secretary, Thomas Amponsah, said the industrial action followed the non-compliance of the government to implement the National Labour Commission’s (NLC) Arbitral Award Orders and the negotiated conditions of service since May 2, 2023.
“The leadership of CETAG wishes to serve notice of our intention to withdraw our services across the 46 public colleges of education effective Tuesday, August 1, 2023, if, by Monday, July 31, 2023, the government has not implemented our negotiated allowances together with the one-off payment of one month’s basic salary based on CETAG’s salary grade as compensation for additional duty performed in 2022 payable to tutors per NLC’s Arbitral Award Order given on May 2, 2023,” it said.
The decision of the association, it said, had been necessitated by the fact that from August 2021, “the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), representing our employer deliberately prolonged its negotiations for new conditions of service for more than a year till the NLC intervened with a compulsory arbitration following CETAG’s strike in January 2023”.
At the end of the compulsory arbitration, the statement said the NLC issued its Arbitral Award Orders on May 2, 2023, granting CETAG members a new condition of service with effect from January 1, 2023.
“Following the NLC’s Compulsory Arbitral Award, the parties proceeded to sign off the negotiation agreement, which has been communicated to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) by FWSC since May 26, 2023, for approval and implementation.
“Surprisingly, the MoF has refused to act on the FWSC’s letter together with the NLC’s Arbitral Orders in spite of letters we have written to the MoF requesting the immediate implementation of the negotiated agreement. Practically, CETAG members cannot continue to survive on expired 2020 CoS in this biting economy of Ghana,” it said.
It said the practice was softly killing teachers and that “leadership is, therefore, calling on stakeholders to adopt the in-out-out-in system to let all cohorts of students remain in school and complete the academic year together to enable tutors to take their inter-semester break.
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