After three weeks of boycotting the classroom, teachers at the Colleges of Education have refused to call off their strike despite threats by the government to withhold their November salaries.
The teachers in October embarked on a strike after three months of unsuccessful negotiations with the government over the payment of their interim market premium as well as book and research allowances.
Speaking to Citi News, the National Secretary of CETAG, Nathan Ohene Gyang, said they would only back down when the government is ready to listen to them.
“If they think that we are doing something untoward they should petition NLC [National Labour Commission]. The NLC will summon the two groups and listen to both of us, and they will pronounce their judgment as to what to do next. But you can’t sit down and say that your strike is illegal and that I’m freezing your salary.”
The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), earlier directed all principals of the various Colleges of Education not to validate teachers of the colleges for the receipt of their salaries for November 2018.
The NCTE said an indefinite strike declared by the teachers to protest their conditions of service was illegal and needless.
“Upon consultation with the Hon. Minister for Education, it has been decided that salaries of all striking CETAG members must not be validated for the month of November 2018, and subsequently until the illegal strike has been called off. Kindly take note and act accordingly without fail,” NCTE stated in a statement.
But CETAG Secretary said they are hoping for a positive response from government and not threats.
“Our hope is that even today, they can even call us and say CETAG we are placing all your qualified members at this level, this is the amount in terms of market premium. Then for the book and research allowance, we are entitled to the same. If you look at the book and allowance issue it is the saddest part of it,” he added.
Gyang said, at a meeting they had with the Minister of Education last Friday, the leadership of NCTE was queried as to why they didn’t include CETAG on the market premium budget of the Education Ministry.
“When the Minister in a meeting last Friday, asked NTC why they didn’t include CETAG in their budget, they told him that the Ministry of Finance had given them a ceiling so they couldn’t add CETAG to the list of those sector institutions that should be paid market premium. And Minister ask them that is that the best strategy to adopt?”
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey | citinewsroom.com | Ghana
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