Wed, 03 Apr 2024 Article

A call to pause: Suspending the strike for the greater good

By Mohammed Nuhu W. Jingli
A call to pause: Suspending the strike for the greater good

Dear Fellow Educators,
On 20th March, 2024, three teacher unions; CCT-GH, GNAT, and NAGRAT declared a nationwide strike to force government to come to negotiation table. This painful but necessary decision came about as a result of government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the leadership of the teacher unions in their quest to have a ‘”Conditions of service document” which expired in August 2023. This strike received massive support and compliance within the rank and file of the Ghanaian teacher. The following allowances are being demanded by the Ghanaian teacher:

  1. CPD
  2. Rent
  3. Deprived area
  4. Transport/Commuting
  5. Teaching/Assessment
  6. Utility Subsidy

Apart from the Continuous Professional development Allowance (CPDA), government had decided to exhibit lackluster attitude towards the other five allowances being demanded by the teacher unions. The main reason the strike action was called.

The decision by Ghana's Labour Commission to secure an interlocutory ex-parte injunction application restraining our unions from continuing with the strike is a significant development. It underscores the legal complexities and potential repercussions of our actions. While we firmly believe in our right to advocate for our members, we must also recognize the legal framework within which we operate.

Additionally, prolonging the strike risks eroding the goodwill and support we have garnered from parents, policymakers, and the public at large. Our cause is just, but we must ensure that our methods do not alienate those whose support is crucial to achieving meaningful change.

Moreover, the one-week (which elapses on Thursday, 4th April, 2024) duration of the injunction provides us with an opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue with relevant stakeholders, including the government and the Labour Commission. We must seize this chance to negotiate in good faith and work towards finding a resolution that addresses our concerns while also respecting the legal framework.

Suspending the strike does not mean abandoning our principles or conceding defeat. On the contrary, it demonstrates our willingness to act responsibly and strategically in pursuit of our goals. It allows us to regroup, reassess our strategies, and emerge stronger and more united than ever before.

Fellow educators, let us remember that unlike injunction application on notice, where the defendant is at liberty to mount strong defense in court, ex-parte injunction applications are generally meant to be complied with or risk being cited for contempt of court.

Dear members of the teaching fraternity, the good news is that after Thursday, 4th April, 2024 leadership may declare another strike if government continue to exhibit bad faith. Or government may go back to the court, to file an injunction application, this time on notice, in which case we will meet them in court to defend our right to strike and to demand what is due us.

In conclusion, I urge all members of CCT-GH, GNAT, and NAGRAT to support the decision to suspend the strike. Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of teachers, but let us also recognize the need for prudence and pragmatism in our actions.

Together, we can overcome this challenge and continue our journey towards a brighter future for all teachers and students in Ghana.

I end by saluting the leadership of the three teacher unions; Mr. King Ali Awudu, Mr. Thomas Musah and Mr. Angel Carbonu) for listening to the call of the grassroots teacher.

In solidarity,
Mohammed Nuhu W. Jingli
Northern Regional Chairman