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Teachers’ Strike: Fair Wages Commission invites Unions to conclude negotiations

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has asked the three-striking Teacher Unions to return to the negotiation table for swift conclusion on conditions of service.

That, the Commission said, was to ensure that the four concerns out of the 16 raised by the Unions were resolved.

This comes on the back of the announcement of an industrial action by three Teacher Unions.

The Unions – Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-Ghana) – declared an indefinite strike on Wednesday, March 20.

However, at a press briefing on the same day in Accra, Mr Benjamin Arthur, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commission, said the call by the Unions ‘is in bad faith’.

He said the best intervention was for the two parties to engage because both parties needed each other.

‘We’re committed, willing and open to engage, and we’ve demonstrated that by inviting them. So, we’ll be waiting to see how best we’ll continue wi
th our engagement [on Thursday, March 20],’ Mr Arthur said.

‘If what they [the Teacher Unions] have cited as delays is anything to go by, then the strike is really what’s going to cause the delay, because we’ve made tremendous progress,’ he stated.

‘We were expectant that Thursday by 1400 hours [2:00pm] at least, we should be able to conclude the negotiation,’ he stated.

The Unions cited delays on the part of the government in negotiations on their Collective Agreement, which addressed issues such as allowances for teachers in underserved areas, entertainment allowance, and housing/rent allowance, following the expiration of the existing one Agreement in 2023.

They said the agreement should have been completed on or before February 29, 2024.

They also cited delay in the distribution of laptops to some members, and failure on the part of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to institute a functional Scheme of Service for teachers as reasons for the industrial action.

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission’s
CEO called on the leadership of the three pre-tertiary teacher unions to call off the strike for engagement to continue.

He urged parents and pupils across the country to keep calm as the Commission worked relentlessly to have a lasting solution to the impasse.

Source: Ghana News Agency