EducationGhana| July 06|COLA STRIKE 2022: Government’s meeting with the leadership of Striking Teachers ended Inconclusively:
A crunch meeting between the leadership of the four striking teacher labour unions and the government to resolve the impasse ended in a stalemate.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the CEO of Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Benjamin Arthur, Director-General of Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum and Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah.
A member of the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Isaac Baah who was present at the meeting told JoyNews in an interview that the “government came empty-handed and so we ended the meeting”.
According to him, the crunch meeting held on Wednesday, which was expected to resolve the impasse, did not last long.
He said the representatives at the meeting told them “they did not have the mandate” to grant the 20% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) the teacher unions have demanded.
Mr. Baah explained that the government officials who attended the meeting requested the teacher unions to call off the strike before negotiations could commence.
He however reiterated that teachers will not resume work until the government meets their 20 per cent COLA demand.
“We have already submitted a request way back in February, so at least you know what we are demanding so you should be prepared before inviting us,” Mr. Baah said on Newsnight, Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Education Ministry, Kwesi Kwarteng said the government will continue to engage the teachers on their demands.
“We will continue to engage them officially and unofficially, both formally and informally. I can obviously speak to today’s [Wednesday] meeting, the outcome of the meeting and I am sure that based on today’s meeting, the government’s side obviously will meet again just like the teacher unions they have appealed to,” he told Emefa Apawu on Newsnight, Wednesday.
Four teacher unions on Monday, July 4 declared an indefinite nationwide strike over demands for the payment of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
The unions, comprising the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT), are demanding that 20% of their basic salary be paid to them.
“We can no longer bear the hardship. Even more so, we reject the inequality of salaries in the public services of this country. We have been compelled under the current circumstances to publicly communicate to Ghanaians on our intention to go on strike, having gone past the June 30, 2022 deadline [that] we gave the government for the payment of the Cost of Living Allowance.
“Consequently, we have decided to embark on a strike action effective today, Monday, July 4, 2022. By this, we are informing the general public that we are withdrawing all our services in all the pre-tertiary education space – this includes teaching and non-teaching staff,” the teachers announced.
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