27.09.2005 General News

Koforidua Teachers for demo today

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Koforidua, Sept. 27, GNA - Teachers within the New Juaben Municipality have decided to embark on a day's demonstration on Tuesday in protest against their salary negotiations for this year. In addition, they would organise daily protest demonstrations to back their demands until the end of the arbitration between the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Government being handled by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

They took the decision at an emergency meeting held at Koforidua on Monday after a briefing on the salary negotiation process by the Eastern Regional Executive of GNAT.

The teachers argued that if the Government could find money to pay the Capitation Grant, increased salaries of some health personnel, register Ghanaians outside the country to vote in future elections, then the Government should find money to pay those who train the manpower needs of the country.

Mr Solomon Djaba-Mensah, Eastern Regional Chairman of GNAT at the meeting, said the issue had been submitted to a Compulsory Arbitration by the NLC under the Labour Law and GNAT had nominated three arbitrators for the panel.

He reminded them that GNAT was a law abiding institution which had faith in the country's legal system and would therefore, not be involved in any illegal strike action while the arbitration lasted. Mr Djaba-Mensah, advised the teachers against embarking on any strike action but could go on demonstration in protest. Mr Kofi Adumuah Simpson, Eastern Regional Secretary of GNAT, said the salary negotiations for this year begun in last December and came to a stalemate on September 8, this year, when Government's proposal for 10 per cent salary increase across board, offering 25 billion cedis as monthly special allowance from September to December, and an upward review of re-imbursement allowances was accepted by all members of the Joint Consultative Forum.

The Forum comprised GNAT, Civil Servants Association of Ghana (CSAG), Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG) and the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA).

Mr Simpson said the problem begun when members of the Forum and the Central Management Board (CMB) met on September 12, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Government's proposal only to be told that the Government had backed down on its words. Last week, the New Juaben Municipal GNAT Council decided to embark on a strike action with effect from Monday, September 26, but was called off later.