The Eastern Regional Chapter of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has threatened to embark on a strike action by the end of June, as they demand for an improved condition of service for its members.
At a press conference held at its office in the Eastern Regional capital, Koforidua today (Friday, June 24), the Regional Chairman of NAGRAT, Mr Godwin Awoonor-Yevu appealed to the government to heed to their demand for at least a 20 percent Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) to help ameliorate their plight.
The presser saw scores of NAGRAT members in attendance clad in red armbands to demonstrate their frustration.
Earlier call on government
Addressing the press, Mr Awoonor-Yevu indicated that NAGRAT members were ready to lay down their tools by the end of June should government fail to attend to their demands.
"We have come to our wits end; we can no longer bear the pain. We, therefore, demand of our National Leadership that, if at the end of June 2022, our call for CoLA is not heeded to, they have no option than to pay heed to the clarion call of our members to lay down our tools," he said.
He lamented that government had since the registration of their demand in November last year ignored them as well as the call from the leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at May Day Parade celebrated in Accra this year in face of the hardship currently being experienced in the country.
"At this year's National May Day Parade held at the Black Stars Square on May 1, which had the President and Vice President of the country in attendance, the Secretary-General of TUC, Dr Yaw Baah made a passionate appeal to the President that given the rising cost of living, due to high inflation in the country, the President should use his executive powers to grant a CoLA of at least 20 percent to all public service workers including the Armed Forces, Police Service, Prison Service, Immigration Service and all security and Intelligence Agencies," he said.
Mr Awoonor-Yevu said the frequent increase in fuel prices, goods and services, and introduction of new taxes had worsened the already bad situation of teachers, yet their salaries had not changed since the beginning of the year. He described the situation of teachers as "living on life support".
The Eastern Regional Chairman of NAGRAT urged stakeholders to support their call for the government to listen to their demands as they would not entertain any flattery statements to consider school pupils to return to the classroom when they lay down their tools.
The West African Secondary school Certificate Examination (WASSCE) which is expected to start next month would be affected by the strike action should the teachers embark on their intended strike action, according to Mr Awoonor-Yevu.
The suffering of the teachers according to him, has also contributed to many teachers leaving the profession for other jobs including security services.