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19.03.2009 Education

Hullabaloo over Teachers` fundGNAT takes swift action

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THE Secretariat of the Ghana National Association of Teachers Fund (GNATFund) has moved swiftly to correct the anomaly that led to deductions from salaries of staff.

The move comes some few days after The Chronicle exposed the anomaly in its recent publication. For instance, one teacher who applied for a loan of GH¢ 500 under the Fund and had a period of 14 months to clear the debt was deducted twice in a month.

Another teacher, who also applied for a loan of GH¢ 1,000 with a payment period of 22 months, also suffered the same fate.

According to the terms of repayment of the GNATFund, when for example, one applies for a loan of GH 500 cedi, the individual would have a period of 14 months to clear the debt with a monthly deduction of GH¢ 40.91. Unfortunately, the managers of the fund were not following this simple procedure but were rather making more deductions than necessary from the salaries of the affected teachers.

They subsequently petitioned the Secretariat of the GNATFund to take immediate steps to correct the anomaly and as well reimburse them with the money they had illegally taken from their salaries.

Some of the teachers, in an interview with The Chronicle confirmed that the secretariat had taken steps to correct the anomaly following their protest. One of the teacher remarked, 'very soon we will be reimbursed which will be a relief for us”.

The teachers showed to this reporter a letter from the Secretariat of the GNATFund to their accountant on steps being taken to correct the anomaly.

The letter reads, “I wish to inform you that the above named teacher took a loan of GH¢ 500 from the Teachers Fund, for a fourteen month repayment period, with a monthly deduction of GH¢ 44. Unfortunately, there has been a double deduction which is being effected”.

The teachers expressed the hope that the anomally would be corrected and they would be reimbursed in the shortest possible time.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in its quest to better the life of its members established the GNATFund. On February 1st, 1999, a formal document in the form of a Trust Deed was signed between GNAT and the Board of the Trustees of the Teachers Fund. In this document, GNAT entrusted the safekeeping and sound management of the fund into the care of the Board of Trustees.

The Fund aimed to supplement the retirement benefits of members, provide financial relief and as well provide capital funding for part-time income generating activities.

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