GNAT threatens withdrawal of service to demand for coronavirus protective gear

Thomas T. Musah

Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is to engage the Ghana Education Service (GES) to discuss plans for the deployment of occupational health and safety kits to protect teachers against the novel coronavirus.

GNAT wants government to as soon as possible provide its members with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) as detailed in section 118 of the labour law.

It comes on the back of six confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The cases have sparked fear and panic among many Ghanaians who are seeking ways to prevent themselves from contracting the virus which has created a global pandemic and health crisis mostly in Europe.

In Ghana, the government has been forced to shut down all schools and banned most social gatherings as well as international travels among public officials while individuals have been advised to embark on essential travels only.

Final years students set to write this year’s BECE and WASSCE are however to remain in class to be taught by their teachers.

General Secretary of GNAT Thomas T. Musah indicated that it is mandatory for GES to ensure the safety of teachers and students in schools.

According to him, GNAT has no evidence of deployment of any PPEs to teachers in the country, hence the decision to engage the GES this week for the government to supply of occupational health and safety kits in schools.

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Mr Musah threatened teachers would have reasonable cause to withdraw their services after they have reported injurious situations against their health as stipulated in section 199 of the labour act.

He thus cautioned GNAT members to be on the lookout and let section 199 of the labour act be their watchword and report situations that seems deleterious to their health to GES and withdraw their services immediately.

“This particular matter you don’t wait and say that you are waiting for your director-general to come and act before you withdraw, no. The law says that you report to your immediate supervisor and withdraw,” he stated.

By Maxwell Otoo

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