Accra, Sept 14, GNA - The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) on Wednesday said it could not sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Central Management Board (CMB) on its salary negotiations on September 12 because government had shifted its offer.
Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mrs. Irene Duncan-Adanusa, the General Secretary of GNAT said the association, after protracted negotiations with the CMB finally reached an agreement on a 10 per cent upward adjustment across board for levels three to 22 to take effect from March 2005.
Another special allowance of 25 billion cedis per month to cushion the effect of any shock or shortfall on the employees was also offered and that was to be paid from September 2005 to December 2005, in addition to an upward review of reimbursed allowances, she added. However, she said the 10 per cent increase which was slated to be paid from March 2005 was shifted to June 2005, while the 25 billion cedis also to be paid for four months, from September to December was moved November to December.
Mrs. Duncan-Adanusa said, " we cannot accept any variation in the offer earlier agreed upon and GNAT cannot condone the attitude or stance of government."
She said GNAT was not informed about any changes until the parties met on September 12 to sign the MOU.
Giving the background to the development, Mrs Duncan-Adanusa said GNAT had a series of meetings on the negotiations for the reversal of the May 2004 salaries, which were slashed from 30 per cent to 10 per cent.
Though the salaries were restored in April 2005, the effective date for the payment was January this year, stressing that whatever was paid as arrears was part of the 2004 salaries. She said after the reversion, a proposal for 30 per cent increase across board was to be negotiated and paid on the reversed salary and this had been the issue of negotiation up to date.
She said after the protracted negotiations with CMB without any acceptable agreement, a forum made up of the Civil Servants Association of Ghana, the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, the Judicial Service Staff Association and GNAT on August 23, 2005 had no other option than to declare a deadlock.
She said on September 8, 2005, the parities reached an agreement on the above proposals and the September 12 meeting was therefore, arranged with the hope that MOU would be finally signed.
Once the acceptance has been communicated and also accepted, it cannot be withdrawn or revoked, she said, adding, " We are therefore to stand by while we continue with the process through the National Labour Commission.
Mrs Duncan-Adanusah said members would be informed about the next line of action to take by the end of the week but added that a strike action was the last resort that GNAT would ever embark on because of the consequences nationwide.