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23.02.2006 General News

TEWU wants review of expired collective agreement

By GNA

Accra, Feb 23, GNA - The Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) on Thursday expressed its frustration regarding the reluctance of the Management of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to review the collective agreement for non- teaching staff of the GES that expired in April 2001 despite efforts by the Union to get it reviewed. Briefing the press in Accra, Mr Daniel Ayim Antwi; General-Secretary of the Union expressed shock at media reports which quoted the GES Council to have intimated that copies of code of conduct had been given to the Union for distribution.

Mr Antwi said the formulation of such code of conduct was without the consideration of the Standing Negotiating Committee (SNC) of TEWU and, therefore, the Union had rejected it.

"It should be pointed out that the agenda being perpetrated by the GES Council and Management is a recipe for industrial upheaval", he warned. Giving the background to the development, Mr Antwi said the collective agreement included the condition of service for the non-teaching staff of the GES, which expired five years ago and on January 8, 2002, the Union submitted proposals to the Management for its review.

However, the year 2002 ended without the Management making it possible for the Union's proposals to be negotiated.

A press conference was held in January 16, 2003 after which the then Director - General of GES, the Reverend Ama Afo Blay invited the Union to discuss its concerns and promised to ensure their grievances were to be resolved within the shortest possible time.

Mr Antwi said series of meetings had been held between the Union and the Management but could not conclude negotiations, and then on April 15, 2005 the National Executive Council of the Union at a meeting took serious view of the lukewarm attitude of the GES Management and urged the Standing Negotiating Committee to conclude negotiations without further delay but this had yielded no positive results. He noted that on three occasions, August and November 2005 and January 2006 GES Management feet dragging attitude compelled TEWU to seek the intervention of the National Labour Commission (NLC). He said NLC had been prompting the GES Management to cooperate with TEWU but unfortunately the Management had paid no heed to the NLC directives.

Meanwhile when the GNA went to the GES for comments the Director-General was said to be at a workshop some where.

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