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20.05.2004 Regional News

Ga District Teachers demonstrate against SSNIT pension scheme

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Accra May 20, GNA - Teachers in the Ga District of the Greater Accra Region on Thursday gave the Government two weeks ultimatum to resolve all issues concerning the CAP 30 or else they would advise themselves. About 100 first and second cycle schoolteachers dressed in red clothes and wearing red bands, chanted war songs and marched from Pokuase to the District Chief Executive's Office at Amasaman.

Mr Edward Yao Sebuabe, District Chairman of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), presenting their petition to the President through the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Samuel Nii Aryeetey Attoh said all workers were forced to go under the Social Security and national Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme by the Supreme Military Council (SMC) Decree Eight.

Successive discriminatory Decrees were later passed to restore some workers to the Cap 30 Pension leaving teachers, nurses, civil servants and some junior staff of the judicial service under the SSNIT Scheme. He explained that whilst teachers, who retired under the Teachers Pension Ordinance received between 80 million cedis and 100 million cedis their counterparts under the SSNIT Pension Scheme received between 700,000 cedis to 13 million cedis, depending on the grades on which they retired.

Mr Sebuabe said the GNAT Leadership had at various times presented memoranda to various agents of government without any sympathetic response.

He said: "So Mr President, what is the crime of the teacher, who retires under the SSNIT Pension Scheme? Have they not both served "Mother Ghana? Ee teachers of Ga District have resolved that you act speedily to restore all teachers to the Teachers' Pension Ordinance." Mr Attoh acknowledged the important roles played by teachers in developing the human resource capacity of the country.

He, however, urged the teachers to go back to the classroom to continue with their work while the issue was being resolved and pledged to send their petition to the appropriate authorities.

Madam Margaret Oteng, a 56 year old teacher at Bortianor D/A Primary School, told the Ghana News Agency that she had served as a teacher for the past 32 years but on her attempt for a voluntary retirement she was told that she would be given 9.5 million cedis as her retirement benefit and be given 300,000 cedis every month.

She said some of her colleagues who fell under the Cap 30 would be receiving about 100 million cedis as their retirement benefit.