The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), on Friday commemorated its 10th anniversary in Kumasi, with a call on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to check the unwarranted harassment and release of teachers.
“Another threat to our trade union rights and performance in recent times is the open release of teachers by heads of institutions,” Mr Kwami Alorvi, President of the Association, lamented.
This, he said, was in contravention of the GES' principles which stipulates that where a teacher's services were not needed that particular teacher ought to be given 90 days notice with the consent of the GES, adding that it was quite unfortunate that some heads of institutions intentionally waited till about a week or two weeks to schools reopening, then hand over the release letters to such affected teachers.
Speaking on the theme “NAGRAT- the Flame of Excellence”, Mr Alorvi said such releases apart from being flawed in procedure and timing, were also cunningly employed by some heads to punish and intimidate teachers who stand for their union rights.
He cited an instance, where during the reopening staff meetings this term, two schools in Cape Coast released a total of 23 teachers, with one of the schools doing away with as many as 16 teachers.
“We are sending a signal to the GES that NAGRAT was poised and ready to sort this issue out at the law courts, if the appropriate response does not come from the GES Director- General early enough for peace to prevail.
Enumerating the achievements of NAGRAT, the President said since its inception, the Association had been able to institute a welfare scheme for its members through no additional contribution by members as done in the case of mutual fund or provident fund.
“This welfare fund put in place through the prudent management of the monthly dues members pay will soon pay 930 Ghana Cedis to members who retire at 60 years or to the families of deceased members,” he said.
Other enhanced benefits, he said, also exist for death of spouse and children under 18years.
Mr. Alorvi indicated that through the efforts of the Association the Certificate “A” teacher that used to enter the GES at level eight, now enters at level 10 and that the Diploma professional was also raised from level 11 to 12, while the professional university graduate teacher who began the salary scale on level 11, now enters the salary scale at level 14.
In a message delivered on his behalf, Mr. Bannerman Mensah, Director- General of the GES commended teachers for their immense contribution to national development and urged them to work hard for quality education delivery in the country.