The General Secretary of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Dan Ayim Antwi, has called on the management of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to conclude negotiations on the conditions of service for its members to avert an industrial action.
"It is rather disheartening to observe that despite Union's persistent demands during the past six years for a review of our Collective Agreement, the Ghana Education Service management's uncooperative attitude continues to stall the conclusion of negotiations on the review condition of service," he said.
Mr. Antwi was addressing the fifth Quadrennial Regional Delegates Conference of TEWU at Wa.
The conference, a prelude to the Ninth Quadrennial National Delegates Conference scheduled for Kumasi, attracted delegates from all the region's eight districts to deliberate on issues affecting the union and the way forward.
Mr. Antwi said the negative attitude of the GES management is causing anxiety among workers and has the potential of sparking off industrial unrest in the service if immediate action is not taken to address workers' demands.
Since the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of TEWU six years ago, it has tried in vain to conclude negotiations on the review of conditions of services for its members.
The union is demanding, among other things, an upward review of salaries for 2007, payment of responsibility allowance arrears to its members agreed upon in 1999 and the establishment of a Provident Fund in place of the End of Service Benefit (ESB).
With regard to negotiations with the Conference of Polytechnic Principals, he said a meeting of the Negotiating Committee held on January 17, this year, successfully concluded negotiations on the review of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which expired three years ago.
Mr. Antwi called on delegates to discuss issues dispassionately and take positive decisions to propel the union to greater heights.
The National Chairman of TEWU, Alhaji Hamsah Kambasi, said although strikes are not the best for settling labour disputes, they cannot also be avoided totally if workers expectations are taken for granted by management.
He said the Collective Bargaining of TEWU which expired six years ago and should have been reviewed three times by now, was a clear recipe for labour unrest and called on management of GES to act promptly to avert any mishap.
The Regional Industrial Relations Officer of TEWU, Godfred Palbaare, said membership of the union had increased over the years to about 800 following the granting of boarding status to some day secondary schools, the establishment of the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies and the Wa Polytechnic that have engaged a lot of its members.
He said labour disputes between employers and employees in the region were resolved amicably following interventions by the Regional Secretariat.
Source: The Ghanaian Times