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11.10.2005 General News

Teachers register displeasure at minister's remark.

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Tema, Oct 12, GNA - Most teachers in the Tema Municipality boycotted classes on Tuesday in protest against an alleged remark a Deputy Minister of manpower, Youth and Employment made.

He was alleged to have said that the 11.5 per cent salary increase for teachers was a free gift from the government to teachers. Commenting on the action of the teachers in a telephone interview with the GNA, Mr Robert Addotey, the Municipal Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), said the teachers had no mandate to embark on any strike action.

Mr Addotey said even though the executives requested for 10 per cent salary increase, the government raised it to 11.5 per cent. He said the teachers expressed dissatisfaction with the new salary and cited organisations whose workers had been given higher increments. Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) had 40 per cent, Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) had 22 per cent and Forestry got 20 per cent. Mrs Lucy Kwapong, Tema Municipal Director of Education, denied any knowledge of the strike action and said she got to know later that the teachers took the decision at a meeting on Monday.

Mr Jones Afasi, who described himself as a spokesman for the teachers, told the GNA "this time round we the teachers want to take our destiny into our own hands because the GNAT officials are not seeking our interest."

They intend holding a press conference on Wednesday to be followed by a demonstration on Friday.

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