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NAGRAT urges new minimum wage for next year

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Jacob Anaba (middle), Vice-President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers, addressing the press conference in Accra. With him are Michael Ayuraboya (right), General Secretaray, and Isaac Lamptey, Organising Secretary, both of NAGRAT
Jacob Anaba (middle), Vice-President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers, addressing the press conference in Accra. With him are Michael Ayuraboya (right), General Secretaray, and Isaac Lamptey, Organising Secretary, both of NAGRAT

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has called on the National Tripartite Committee to determine urgently the new minimum wage for the year 2023 by the middle of the month.

The tripartite committee is a body mandated by Section 113 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), to determine the minimum wage among other things.

NAGRAT also urged the Public Sector Joint Negotiations Committee to start processes for the determination of the base pay for the year 2023 before June 30 this year.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday [June 7, 2022], the Vice-President of NAGRAT, Jacob Anaba, further called on the government to grant workers a 20 per cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) by the end of the month in order to cushion them in the face of growing economic challenges.

“Leadership would be left with no option than to declare a strike by the end of July 2022 if all the requests made are not adhered to,” he said.

Context

On May Day, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) called on the government to grant COLA to the Ghanaian worker to alleviate the excruciating suffering workers were going through.

In November 2021, NAGRAT made the call for upward adjustment in salaries to cushion workers due to the increase in the prices of goods and services.

Similar calls were made by the pre-tertiary teacher unions, notably NAGRAT, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-Gh), Teachers and the Educational Workers Union (TEWU).

Mr Anaba said the leadership of the association had yielded to the demands of members for positive action, beginning with the wearing of red bands by the end of the month if their demands were not met.

He further instructed all the association’s regional and zonal secretariats to hoist red flags in front of their offices with immediate effect.

“The President had earlier said: ‘we (government) know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life’. The question is what has changed,” he asked.

Priority

NAGRAT called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo not to prioritise the economy over the country’s human resource, adding that the worker could no longer bear the economic hardship.

“This situation has resulted in the rank and file of our membership calling for positive action. Therefore, we are by this conference serving notice to those who matter that their ineptitude towards the call by the unions to grant COLA to the suffering Ghanaian worker is leaving us no alternative than to respond to the incessant demands of our members,” Mr Anaba emphasised.

The call by NAGRAT followed a similar one by GNAT on the government to expedite action on issues of COLA and base pay for teachers and workers in general.

"As we speak now, workers are complaining and agitating because the prices of food items, as well as goods and services, are rising. Let us treat human security issues as national security matters," the General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview last Monday.