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02.06.2004 General News

Teachers in Ho protest govt's inaction over Cap 30

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Ho, Jun 2, GNA - Scores of teachers in Ho and its environs dressed and draped in red attire, took to the streets on Wednesday to protest government's inaction in restoring them to the Cap 30 Pensions scheme. The teachers' action was part of a countrywide protest marches planned by the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to prompt government to act on the scheme.

School activities came to a halt as pupils strolling back home cheered their teachers carrying placards condemning the paltry lump sums paid to pensioners under the SSNIT Pension Scheme.

Some of the placards read; "Senior Minister Mind Your Words, Cap 30 is Feasible and Sustainable", "Treat all Workers Equally", SSNIT Pension is Worse than AIDS" and Mr President Stop Sending Your Retired Teachers to the Grave".

Mr Kofi Dzamesi received the protesting teachers at the forecourts of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) who pledged that government "will not do anything that will bring hardship to workers". He said government was in the final stages of deliberations on the issue and would come out with a statement.

Mr Alex Mawusi Buadi, Ho District Chairman of the GNAT slammed the practice of passing laws to put certain groups of public servants under Cap 30 while others were taken out.

He lamented the disparity in the lump sums paid in the two pension schemes operating in the country, saying that it was discriminatory.

"It would surprise to you to note that a whole District Director of Education who retired under SSNIT pension had only 10.5 million cedis, whilst his junior, also an Assistant Director who also retired in the same year under Cap 30, had more than 90 million cedis," he lamented. Cap 30 is a non-contributory scheme based on salary at retirement with minimum eligibility being 120 months or 10 years continuous service, while the SSNIT scheme is self-contributory and based on average salary for best three years with the minimum eligibility being 240 months. Mr Veni Demanya, Volta Regional Secretary of GNAT told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the issue now was not pulling out GNAT's 150,000 members from the SSNIT scheme, but teachers being fairly treated and not discriminated against.