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15.03.2006 General News

NAGRAT threatens strike action


Accra, March 15, GNA - The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) on Tuesday threatened to embark on nationwide strike without any further notice if the Ghana Education Service (GES) failed to promote graduate teachers and pay them in full all outstanding invigilation allowances by March 31, 2006. "We hope the country will not be brought to that unpleasant moment. Should it happen so, the GES should take the full responsibility."

Mr Kofi Adom-Sekyi, Vice President of NAGRAT, announced this at a press conference in Accra in the light of various speculations in the media of a possible strike action by the graduate teachers as a result of the impasse between NAGRAT and the educational authorities over invigilation allowances and promotion of graduate teachers by the GES. He said the West African Examination Council (WAEC) had paid its contractual part of the invigilation allowance but GES was yet to honour its part to the teachers.

Mr Adom-Sekyi said since June 22, 2005 when GES Council agreed to upgrade some of the NAGRAT members, who were qualified for promotion, it was yet to come up clean on the issue. He said the only information the Association received from the GES on the responsibility allowances and the upgrading of Graduate Assistant Directors and above was that the proposal was sent to the Ministry of Finance for budgeting. He said the salary arrears to graduate teachers, who were denied up to nine months of salaries, had not been paid. He said GES had not made any payment of allowances for the 2005 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) as well as that of the 2004 allowances. He said a meeting called at the instance of the Select Committee on Education in August 2005, to discuss the fees payable for the 2006 WASSCE reached no agreement. He said while NAGRAT was desirous of ending the impasse and revised downward by proposing 40,000 cedis per session, WAEC and GES offered 15,000 cedis for invigilators, which even fell short of what was agreed upon in 2005. He said between August and November 2005, NAGRAT wrote four letters to the Acting Director General requesting for specific information on the progress of the implementation of the understandings and up till now this had not been acknowledge by the Acting GES Director General.