GNAT threatens to strike, says it's running out of patience

BY: Arku Jasmine

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) says it is running out of patience with government to resolve the grievances of teachers regarding some unpaid allowances due them.
A statement signed by the General Secretary of the Association, Irene Duncan Adanusa said the it was distressed by the “inactivity” of government to ensure that outstanding allowances due teachers were paid.

On March 18, 2013, GNAT embarked on a strike to press home their demand for the early resolution of matters concerning their conditions of service.

They raised concerns about the non-payment of vehicle maintenance allowance from 2012 till date and delays in resolving outstanding issues related to promotions.

It took the intervention of President John Dramani Mahama for the teachers to call off their strike with the assurance that the government was willing to sit down with workers, including teachers, to resolve all outstanding issues with their salaries and allowances.

However, five months since the strike was suspended, GNAT says it seems the resolution of majority of the concerns which brought about the strike is nowhere in sight.

The statement noted that while GNAT concedes that the issues about promotions and incremental credits restoration have somehow been resolved, the Union was at a loss as to why the full agreement on them was still hanging in the air.

It acknowledged the step movement of GES Employees on the Single Spine Salary structure which was effected at the end of June but bemoaned the unpaid arrears for 2011 and 2012.

“In the same vein, vehicle maintenance allowance for 2012 for teachers who qualify, arrears for promoted teachers, Transfer grants and Travelling and Transport allowances for affected teachers since 2010 have all not received any attention. These are legitimate entitlements due teachers in the Ghana Education Service, the non-payment of which is not only distasteful, but also violation of labour rights which are also human rights,” the statement added.

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“The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), on behalf of all Teacher Unions in the Education Sector, is by this statement serving notice to all stake holders including Government that, the patience of teachers in the Ghana Education Service is running,” the statement concluded.