GNAT threatens strike actions over group insurance deductions

Ms Philippa Larsen, acting GNAT President

Ms Philippa Larsen, acting GNAT President

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has threatened a possible strike action if the Ghana Education Service (GES) fails to ensure that members who were enrolled onto the State Insurance Company (SIC) group insurance policy and deducted without their consent are not refunded with interest by November 30.

A statement signed and issued by Philippa Larsen, National President of GNAT, in Accra yesterday said the leadership of GNAT cannot restrain its members any longer if the deadline was not met.

It further advised the GES to use the same Controller and Accountant’s General Department (CAGD), through which the members were illegally deducted to ensure that the refunds with the accrued interest were paid.

After thorough discussion of the GES/SIC Insurance Policy at the 2018 National Council Meeting of GNAT on November 1 this year, the statement said the conduct of GES to unilaterally and forcefully enrol members onto the insurance policy was regrettable and unfortunate.

It said the use of force to implement the policy on GNAT members was disrespectful, arrogant and disregard for the teaching profession.

Citing the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) Section 69 (1) and (2) (a) and (b), which said no employer has the right to make deductions from an employee’s salary without his/her consent, the statement called for all ongoing deductions to cease.

It said the demand for an “exit form” could not be accepted by the Association and that its position not to fill the “exit form” was non-negotiable, stating that “members of the Association did not fill any form to subscribe onto the policy and therefore there is no moral and legal justification for our members to fill an “exit form”.

The statement further rejected GES’ demand on GNAT members for the provision of mobile money numbers for the refund of the deduction, arguing that telephone networks in the country pose challenges to users.

Additionally, it said GNAT also disagrees with the demand for mobile money numbers because not every teacher was registered to the mobile money platform, payment through the platform comes with additional cost and the probability for a mix-up of numbers.

By Times Reporter

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