All public pre-tertiary teachers will from today, Monday abandon their classrooms nationwide in protest of what they call legacy arrears.
Three teacher unions- the Ghana National Association of Teachers, the National Association of Graduate Teachers and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers say the Ghana Education Service has failed to process their salary arrears from 2012 to 2015.
President of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT), King Awudu Ali in an interview with Citi News said the teachers will only return to the classrooms when the monies are paid.
“We have not been engaged yet. So the only thing we want to tell our members across the length and breadth of the country is that our strike is in full force. All pre-tertiary teachers should not turn up to work today. Majority of the arrears span from 2012 to 2015. That notwithstanding, we have some other arrears from 2017 to 2018 but those are not as much as those between 2012 and 2015. The monies are in excess of thousands of cedis.”
Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education have in separate press releases described the action as baseless, illegal and shocking.
Authorities have held a series of meetings with the leadership of the teacher groups where it discussed the payment of the said arrears with the modalities involved adding that a December 5 ultimatum given by the teachers was not realistic.
But the teachers insist their strike is justified on all fronts hence; they will not rescind their decision.
Teachers' strike a breach of their own principles – Education Ministry
The Ministry of Education had described the strike declared by the three teacher unions as baseless.
Public Relations Officer of the Education Ministry, Ekow Vincent Assafuah, said the assertions made by the teachers are inaccurate.
“If we owe about 120,000 staff and we paid almost 20,000, why would you declare a strike? On what basis are you declaring the strike? So they are not acting in good faith. I think that it is a breach of their own principle and commitment to the GES. One relevant question that I want us to ask them is what happens to the poor child who is waiting in the classroom to be taught?” he asked.”
The Ghana Education Service (GES) expressed surprise at the teachers' decision to strike on Monday.
According to GES, the industrial action declared by the teachers is illegal and “an abuse of the principle of good faith and good working relations”.
In a statement, the Service argued that it has held a series of meetings with the leadership of the teacher groups where it discussed the payment of the said arrears with the modalities involved, adding that a December 5 ultimatum given by the teachers was not realistic.