The Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has threatened to embark on strike effective; Tuesday, October 13, if the Government refuse to pay entitlements due members.
Mr Jacob Anaba, Regional Chairman of the Association said at a news conference in Sunyani that all efforts by the Association to ask government to honour its obligations have been met with “trite and banality”.
He said the problem of unpaid entitlements of graduate teachers is not limited only to Brong-Ahafo but all teachers in Ghana.
Mr Anaba listed failure of government to pay their annual incremental credits, three months pay policy on newly recruited and promoted staff, transfer grants and travel and transport allowances and non-negotiation of collective agreement as four main concerns that are compelling members to embark on the strike.
He said: “Since the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy in 2010, government unilaterally stopped the payment of annual incremental credits to teachers.”
Mr Anaba said in 2013, all teachers were placed on their correct salary scales “but the annual incremental credit arrears for 2011 and 2012 were not paid”.
On the three months pay policy on newly recruited and promoted staff, Mr Anaba said “by the roadmap presented by the Working Group to the National Labour Commission, the parties agreed that all newly recruited teachers and teachers on promotion who were paid only three months of their entitlements, be paid all outstanding arrears on or before 30th June 2014”.
But “from November 2014 to date, the GES (Ghana Education Service) has succeeded in paying a few teachers the said arrears, leaving the majority in limbo”, he said.
Mr. Anaba said the same anomaly was applied to transfer grants and travel and transport allowances, saying many teachers have been transferred and therefore qualified for the grant and allowances but they have not been paid.
He recalled the last Collective Agreement between the Government and the Teacher Unions was signed on 31st December 2009 but the government had failed to meet the Teacher Unions at the negotiation table for a new Collective Agreement.
“The absence of a New Collective Agreement is a huge disservice to the staff of the GES since the renegotiation of the document would have availed teachers the opportunity to revise the rates of benefits already in operation and add others that have become necessary because of emerging issues,” Mr Anaba said.
He said the Association is not making new demands on Government, but rather calling on the Executive to carry out its obligation to teachers.