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09.06.2004 General News

Teachers demand restoration of CAP 30

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Accra, June 9 GNA - Hundreds of teachers from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly on Wednesday demonstrated against the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme describing it as a "Killer".

The teachers warned that any further delay in restoring them to CAP 30 would result in frequent labour agitations and low morale among members.

Many of the teachers wearing red clothes with red armbands converged at the Holy Gardens, near Kwame Nkrumah Circle as early as 0800 hours and marched through some of the principal streets of Accra with brass band music to the Headquarters of the Ghana Education Service (GES). They carried placards some, of which read: "Give Us Hope For The Future", "Away With Bogus SSNIT Pension Scheme", "Zero Tolerance For Corruption Cannot Be Achieved Under SSNIT Pension" and "What Is Sauce For The Goose Is Sauce For Gander".

Mr Johnny Akpakli, Metropolitan GNAT Chairman, presented a petition to the Government through Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education.

The petition cautioned that any further postponement in the implementation of the CAP 30 would rather worsen the plight of teachers and encourage the mass exodus of young ones to other countries for greener pastures.

It said the SSNIT Pension Scheme had operated for 32 years and within this period the highest gratuity a teacher had taken home after retirement was 13 million cedis with a paltry pension of about 180,000 cedis a month.

Noting that between 1985 and 1997, successive governments had through laws and Acts of Parliament restored workers of certain Public institutions who were previously under SSNIT Pension Scheme to CAP 30, a situation the teachers said they found unacceptable and discriminatory. It said: "We all work for the State and must be treated equally". The petition appealed to President John Agyekum Kufuor to take the necessary action to restore teachers to the CAP 30 just as it was done for workers of other State institutions.

Ms Ohene pledged to send their petition to the appropriate quarters for action.

She urged the teachers to go back to the classroom while the issue was being resolved.

Those present included Mr Rashid Bawa, Minister of State in Charge of Youth and Sports and the Reverend Ama Afo Blay, Director-General of GES.