Teachers in Kumasi against imposition of GES-SIC insurance policy

BY: Felix A. Baidoo

Some teachers in the Ashanti region have planned to hit the streets in Kumasi on April 10, 2019 to demonstrate against what they say was an imposition of an insurance policy on them by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

The teachers who are from various basic and senior high schools in the region want the Gh¢10 which was deducted from their salaries in June last year to be refunded to them.

In June, 2018, teachers in public basic and senior high schools across the country complained about a deduction of Gh¢10 from their salaries through the Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) for a group life insurance policy which they were not aware of.

They spoke against the development and insisted the imposition was not proper and accused the Ghana Education Service of masterminding the imposition of the policy with the State Insurance Company (SIC) without discussing it with the teacher unions.

After the complaints in 2018, the GES ordered the CAGD to stop the deductions of the premium in subsequent months.

However according to the teachers, the GES in a letter dated February 27, 2019, and signed by Director General, Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa has urged teachers who are not interested in the deal to fill an exit form which was available at all GES offices country-wide.

The letter, they say has explained that the deductions of Gh¢10 will commence in April, 2019.

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A spokesperson for the teachers, Prosper Tachie, has told Graphic Online that they want the GES to desist from imposing the said ‘Life Group Insurance Policy’ on them since it was illegal.

He explained that, if it were in the interest of the teachers, why is it that the GES and the leadership of State Insurance Company don’t want to meet with the teachers and various stakeholders and rather dealing with the GES alone.

The Ashanti Regional President of the Coalition of Concern Teachers CCT, Mr Godfred Mcthetheh Ansah, on his part told Graphic Online that, when the insurance policy showed up last year, his office wrote to the Kumasi Metro Director and Ashanti Regional Directors of Education and clearly stated their position that their members were not interested in the scheme.

He said in January this year, he had a meeting with the Kumasi Metro Director and the Regional Director over the imposition and said it was wrong.

According to him, many teachers have already subscribed to various insurance policies of their choice so there was no need for a new policy to be imposed on them by the GES.

“If I have not signed any contract with you, why do I have to fill an exit form to terminate the contract, this does not make sense,” he said.

The Ashanti Regional President of GNAT, Peter Boateng, on his part said they were aware of the attempt by the GES to introduce the insurance policy for teachers but had failed to do a national sensitization for the people involved.

He explained that GNAT had since June last year reminded the GES-SIC to ensure that it goes round the entire country to sensitize all teachers on the policy and the benefits that comes with it so they would decide whether to join or not.

Mr Boateng said instead of doing the right thing for the teachers to take a decision whether to be part or not, the GES was bent on imposing the policy on the members which they have vowed to resist through any means possible.

“We have given our assurance to the GES that if the said deduction is done in April, 2019 by the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD), “we cannot restrain our members from undertaking any action,” he said.