09.06.2006 Education

TEWU refuses to call off strike action

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Accra, June 09, GNA - Mr Ayim Antwi, Secretary General of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), on Thursday said the Union would not call off its strike action until Ghana Education Service (GES) Management obtained the mandate to begin negotiations with it. He said TEWU had accommodated the Management for five years and could no longer give it another time but should get the mandate and call TEWU for negotiations.

"On what basis are we going to call off the strike action? When we have nothing on the table to negotiate? So what do we tell our people?" He said after an abortive meeting between TEWU and GES in Accra. The meeting was to discuss issues of conditions of service that led to the strike action by TEWU.

It was a follow up to a directive issued by the National Labour Commission (NLC) for the two parties to meet and discuss the four issues that precipitated the strike action.

They were Risk Allowance, Responsibility Allowance, End-of-Service Allowance and Salary Review.

The NLC also asked TEWU to call off its strike action so that negotiations could start because by law negotiations could not start when union members were on strike.

Mr Antwi said if the Management did not know where to get the mandate they should contact the NLC to assist them. He told the Management that there were old files and technocrats, therefore, the Management could refer to the files or contact the technocrats for assistance.

Mr Micheal Nsowah, Acting Director General of GES, said GES had not been given the mandate to negotiate but could discuss the issues raised because the Management was finding it difficult to deal with the issues and appealed to TEWU to call off its strike action. He said: "Be assured that we are making efforts. I have been to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Manpower Development, Employment and Youth to find out how best we could resolve the issues."

Mr Nsowah GES Management had a high management turn over and, therefore, the new Management needed time to understand the issues properly.

He said the Management would report the outcome of the meeting to the NLC and get back to TEWU.

Mr Anthony Boateng, a member of GES Management, said 66 proposals out of 70 were worked out because they did not include any serious financial implications and also appealed to TEWU to go back to work since it was affecting innocent people.

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