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28.09.2005 General News

New Juaben Teachers give govt ultimatum

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Koforidua, Sept 28, GNA - The New Juaben Municipal branch of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has given the government up to October 7 to resolve the impasse about their stalled salary negotiations or it could not restrain its members from staying away from the classrooms.

It urged the government to co-operate with the National Labour Commission (NLC) to ensure the early resolution of the on-going Compulsory Arbitration by the NLC by the October 7. The ultimatum was contained in a protest note the association presented to Nana Kwasi Agyei Boateng, the New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, after a two-hour protest match through some principal streets of Koforidua on Tuesday, to press home their agitation for an early solution to the issue.

The placard bearing teachers who dressed in black and red mourning attire marched to the Eastern Regional Co-ordinating Council to present the protest note to Mr Yaw Barimah, the Regional Minster, but since he was not available they took it to Nana Kwasi Adjei Boateng. The note expressed concern that teachers have been taken for granted "for far too long. The development of human resource, which is one of the key objectives of the government, can only succeed through teachers."

The protest note said teachers in the municipality were disenchanted about the government's failure to live by its own decision on the salary negotiations, compelling them to reach the brink of embarking on an industrial action.

On Monday Mr Solomon Djaba-Mensah, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the GNAT, told teachers in the municipality that the impasse in their salary negotiations with the government had been submitted for Compulsory Arbitration by the NLC for which they could not embark on any strike action until the outcome of the arbitration.

They, therefore, resolved to undertake daily protest marches with effect from Tuesday.

Nana Adjei Boateng assured the teachers that their agitation would be addressed by the appropriate authorities and urged them to go back to the classrooms.