“We’re not poor beggars; we’ll never beg any gov’t for food” – Teachers to Nsowah

The Central regional branch of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called on the Chairman of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council, Mr Michael Nsowah to apologise to teachers over what the teachers consider as unsavory comments he made during a radio interview about the ongoing strike by three teacher unions.

The teachers claim Mr Nsowah described Ghanaian teachers as “people that the current government is having pity on” in an interview on Accra-based Adom FM.

The Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT-Gh) began the nationwide strike on Monday, 9 December.

They made the joint announcement at a press conference held in Accra on Thursday, 5 December 2019.

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According to the unions, their legacy arrears due them date as far back as 2012 to 2016, thus, their strike.

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has declared the strike illegal.

The NLC has, therefore, asked the unions to return to the classroom.

Instructing them to return to work, the NLC, in a statement on Tuesday, 10 December 2019 signed by its Chair Andy Kwabena Asamoah, said: “The National Labour Commission on Tuesday, the 10th of December 2019, met the representatives of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ministry of Education and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission but the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of

“The Commission, after hearing the Ghana Education Service on the matter, observed as follows: NAGRAT, GNAT AND CCT-Gh failed to notify the NLC and its employer of the ongoing nationwide strike in contravention of Section 159 of the Labour Act 2003, Act 651; that the Commission, in exercise of the authority conferred on it by section 139 (1) (b) of Act 651, finds the associations’ actions in violation of Act 651 and, therefore, the ongoing strike of the unions is illegal”, and also said the teacher unions should call off the strike “immediately and return to work.”


In a statement released on Tuesday, 11 December 2019, however, the Chairman of the Central Regional arm of GNAT, Mrs Isaac Owusu, said: “It is very sad listening to a man with his rich experience in both GES and trade unionism… describing hardworking Ghanaian teachers as people that the current government is having pity on.

“To set the records straight, we want to put it to Mr Michael Nsowah that Ghanaian teachers are not poor beggars and we will never beg any government for money or food so long as we remain in active service.”

The group said its demands for its members are part of their “legitimate rights under the Labour Act, 2003 section 68 under the heading: ‘Equal pay for equal work’.

The statement quoted thus: ‘Every Worker shall receive equal pay for equal work without distinction of any kind’, adding: “We are, therefore, calling on Mr Michael Nsowah to render an unqualified apology to teachers in the country.”

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