EducationGhana| July 13|2022 COLA STRIKE: Government announces New strategy to get Teachers back to the Negotiation table:
The Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Bright Wereko-Brobbey in a video broadcasted on July 12, 2022, after the failed Negotiation indicated, that during the walkout of the Teacher Unions, organised labour had suggested that government should meet with the leadership of the teacher unions before any renegotiation.
He said, that the decision to meet the teacher unions was to convince them to call off the strike as soon as possible so that a new date shall be announced for the Negotiation of the 20% COLA request.
The Deputy Minister further indicated that the Organised Labour has also been tasked to meet with the Teacher Union leadership to convince them to call off the strike action to allow negotiation of the 20% COLA.
The Walk Out
Explaining the walkout of the Teacher Unions, the Deputy Minister said the Unions were informed before the meeting by the Government delegation that they need to meet exclusively with only the teacher Unions to convince them to call off the strike before the meeting can begin.
He further explained that the law stopped the government to negotiate with any group that is on strike.
He however said that teacher unions declined the decision to step out of the meeting and had solidarity from other unions.
”There was, therefore, a request to allow for a caucus meeting to deliberate on the matter to convince them to call off their strike action to allow the meeting to continue” He said.
According to the Deputy Minister, the teachers left the meeting room after the caucus meeting unceremoniously without informing anyone.
The Deputy Minister said, after the unfortunate exit of the teacher unions’ leadership, the labour Unions that were left suggested that government should as a matter of urgency talk to the teacher unions whilst they will also talk to some of their leadership to call off their strike to allow the meeting to be reconvened.
The labour Unioks thereby called for an adjournment of the meeting until the teacher unions are convinced to call off their strike action.
Teacher Unions Perspective
Presidents of the National Association of Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Angel Carbonou and Thomas Musah respectively, who attended the meeting in Accra, told journalists after stepping out that the government’s representatives were insisting that the unions call off the strike before negotiations start.
They said they found this a betrayal of trust hence, their decision to boycott the meeting.
Thomas Musah said “I think that what has happened today is very unfortunate. What we can say now is that our negotiation has come inconclusively and we are still on strike”
For his part, Mr Carbonou said “They are indicating and asking us to call off our strike before negotiations begin. So all it means is that the government side is not ready to continue negotiation unless the teacher unions call off the strike.
“They have held all organized labour unions hostage and this is a betrayal of trust because the understanding we had was that organized labour has been convened for us to find solution to the issue of COLA. Right now, since we are undesirable, we think that before they even walk us out of the meeting, we are walking out of the meetings ourselves.”
On Monday, 4th July 2022, the four (4) Unions in Education, namely GNAT, NAGRAT, Teachers’ and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana, withdrew their services in all the Pre-Tertiary educational space, to back their demand for the Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA).
This involved both Teaching and Non-Teaching staff.
Watch Deputy Minister’s Live Broadcast Below
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