The leadership of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), says its members would not be restrained from adopting any means to have full implementation of agreed clauses of the collective agreement signed between teacher unions and the Ghana Education Service on December 31, 2009.
“The National Executives of GNAT have considered the implications of the inaction of the government and has decided that when Government fails to pay the professional allowance to professional teachers by the end of April, 2010, the leadership will not restrain the members of the association from adopting any means to have the agreement implemented in full,” the national president, Paul Apanga has said.
In a statement read at a thanksgiving service of the association held in Accra, he explained that the executives of GNAT decided to put in the public domain certain sensitive issues that are likely to disturb industrial peace in the education sector in particular and the public sector.
Mr. Apanga said the road map for implementation of agreed clauses of the collective agreement which the teacher union presented on February 8, 2010 to the Director General of the Ghana Education Service; the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; the Minister for Employment and Social Welfare; the Chairman, National Labour Commission; the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Minister for Education, had not yet been addressed by these authorities.
“It is with regret and apprehension that up to this time, none of the institutions served with copies of the road map had even acknowledged receipt of the document, let alone discuss any problems associated with it with the unions.”
“GNAT demands that negotiations on Public Sector pay for 2010 should be completed by the first week of April, 2010 to avoid industrial unrest in the Public Sector since Government has remained silent without even acknowledging receipt of the proposal addressed to the Minister for Employment and Social Welfare,” he said.
Mr. Apanga said the association was becoming worried about the seeming disregard of the labour law by the Hon. Minister of Education and the Director General of GES when it comes to dealing with different unions in an enterprise.
He said, “the people of Ghana, through their representatives in parliament in October 8, 2003, promulgated the Labour Act (ACT 651) to regulate industrial Relations in Ghana. The passage of the Act is to ensure that labour practices are governed by rules and regulations.”
He reiterated that the Minister of Education had taken certain decisions which are at variance with the laid down rules, stressing that such behaviour does not augur well for industrial relations in the GES and “is a recipe for confusion in the GES.”
Mr Apanga therefore called on the National Labour Commission to ensure that the Minister plays the game by the rules to avoid confusion in the GES.
Mr. Apanga stated that the allocation of GH˘100 which was made by the Government in the current budget to support teachers who enroll in the distance education was woefully inadequate.