05.01.2016 Feature Article

Our Arrears Are Still Unpaid, Mr. President!

Our Arrears Are Still Unpaid, Mr. President!
LISTEN JAN 5, 2016

This article seeks to remind the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama of the unpaid salary arrears to the 2013 batch of teachers.

I choose to employ decorum, decency and humility in this article to you His Excellency to express my profound nonacceptance of your unfavourable decision to withhold the salary arrears of teachers.

Because I trust that you have a listening ear, I have decided to draw your attention to a few points especially when I believe that these points are equally of much concern to you.

I have been writing a few articles over the years to press home our legitimate demand for salary arrears but for some few months, I have decided to give myself a break since I have realised that my articles have not yielded the expected results: you have not responded positively.

Well, Mr. President, I am a man who never gives up on my fight against social injustice-an evil that has unfortunately poked its ugly nose in your government and the Ghanaian society as a whole. And that should not obviously serve as motivation for you to disregard us.

I am not writing this article to flex my muscles against you since I have much smaller muscles compared to yours neither do I want to incur your wrath. But one thing I never fear is that in case I incur your wrath because of my fight for social justice, I would be at peace with myself.

Once again, I am not writing this article for fantasy or exaggeration, but for the fact that you have intransigently refused to pay us our arrears. Your decisions concerning teacher-issues and your approach to handling our salary arrears since you assumed office as president of the republic can only be described as intransigent, derogatory, disrespect and disregard of our concerns.

At a time when the standard of education is falling in our dear republic, any disincentive to teachers who are obviously at the centre of education in the country should seriously not be tolerated. Also any fixation on churlish politics as regards teacher-salary issues which have the tendency of destabilising our educational system should be condemned.

The problem is that you politicians have denied the public servants especially teachers our rightful entitlements in the form of good salaries, salary arrears and allowances. But you politicians have successfully been paid all your entitlements, paid fat salaries, fat allowances, per diem, ex gratia and the likes. You encountered no challenge with regard to payment of the above mentioned monies to you. Why then have you placed myriads of obstacles in the teachers' path to recovery of their arrears?

His Excellency, we have given you our endorsement as president and you have made the Flagstaff House your dwelling only because of us. You could never have made yourself president, could you? The answer remains no! Why then have you chosen this path of disregard of our arrears issues? Now it is not about what we can do to retain you as our president as election is approaching, it is about what you can do as president to pay our arrears.

It is now increasingly clear that your decision not to pay our arrears due us has not only set the wrong precedent but you completely disregarded the inevitable negative consequences your decision would certainly have on the teachers.

The accumulative effect of the negative approach has seriously corroded the cohesive fabric of our relationship with you and it is about time something is done to reverse the situation. Your decision was taken unilaterally (without the consent of teacher unions even though that could have been better). Also, justice and fairness were seen lacking.

This article should not be misconstrued in any way as an attack on your personality or political pursuits. We are proud to have you as our president even though not everyone is likely to support you. The problem, as we have all realised now is your decision to withhold our rightful arrears and that is unacceptable. We have not forgotten about it and will continue to fight till we get what is due us.

This article is not a threat but a wish out of extreme confusion and disappointment at the manner in which you have finally degraded the entire issue of our arrears.

There are no proven documents to legitimize my claim but it is your inability to pay us that has necessitated this article.

Mr. President, I humbly but strongly ask that you pay our arrears now. Who knows, it could secure you an additional four years to continue your stewardship at the magnificent Flagstaff House.

Alright then, I wish you all the best.

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