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10.12.2019 Headlines

Teachers Strike : Government Committed To Clear Legacy Arrears - Minister

By Richard Obeng Bediako
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
LISTEN DEC 10, 2019

Deputy Minister in charge of General Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said the Akufo-Addo led government is committed to ensuring they clear legacy arrears which have resulted in Teachers going on strike.

According to him, his outfit has detected several anomalies in documentations which has delayed in the payment of some of the arrears and that there was the need to do more investigations to verify the genuineness of the payments before the affected teachers were paid.

"There have been several meetings with Ghana Educations Service, Teacher Unions and all stakeholders involved to ensure that Teachers halt the strike action and return back to their classrooms as soon as possible,'' Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum told Kwame Tutu on Anopa Nkomo on Accra-based Kingdom FM 107.7

"However, Government is committed to clear arrears of teachers whose arrears were not paid under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, out of over 100,000 Teachers we have paid almost 90% we are left with 1,847 Teachers to be paid and we are committed to do that immediately,''he added

According to the teachers, their checks show that the arrears have been verified and approved for payment by the Controller and Accountant General’s internal audit unit but the monies have not been released yet.

The three teacher unions have also bemoaned the inability of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Public Services Commission to facilitate their promotions, aside from the arrears owed them.

It also called for the reinstatement of their members who were sent away for minor offenses and others who are first-time offenders.

Legacy arrears
The GES said the legacy arrears which related to outstanding arrears between 2012 and 2016, affected about 120,232 staff of the GES.

The legacy arrears, the statement said, was as a result of the policy by the then government which allowed the payment of three months of salary arrears owed any employee in the public service, adding that all other arrears were to be justified and validated by the Audit Service before payment.

Strike
On Thursday, December 5, over 300,000 first and second cycle school teachers across the country said they would lay down their tools from Monday, December 9 over the failure of the government to pay the legacy arrears due members.

According to the teachers who belong to the three main teacher unions, the legacy arrears spanned the period 2012-2016. The unions, made up of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), announced their decision to embark on industrial action at a press conference in Accra last Thursday.

“Primarily, we the unions were concerned with the payment of said arrears because our checks revealed that the arrears had been verified and approved for payment by the Controller and Accountant General’s Internal Audit Unit about three weeks earlier.“However, we were informed that when the verified data was handed over to the GES [Ghana Education Service] for review and action, the GES would not budge, because it claimed some discrepancies had been discovered with some of the payments already effected,” the statement read in part.

By : Richard Obeng Bediako / Kingdom 107.7 FM / Kingdomfmonline.com / [email protected] / Ghana / 2019

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