Let’s resolve grievances of teachers of colleges of education

ELSEWHERE in this paper, we have published a story under the headline “Colleges of Education teacher, Finance Ministry meeting ends in dead lock”, which indicated that the three-hour meeting between the government and striking teachers of Colleges of Education to discuss their grievances ended in a dead lock.

The meeting which was called by the Ministry of Finance was part of efforts to pursue the teachers to resume work, which they have boycotted since November 2, 2017.

The teachers have laid down their tools over unpaid salaries and have vowed not to return to the classroom unless their grievances are addressed.

Teachers of the 38 Colleges of Education across the country have embarked on an indefinite strike over government’s failure to institute their market premiums, pay book and research allowances and outstanding salary arrears owed them after they were migrated unto the Colleges of Education pay structures.

The teachers explain further that the migration to tertiary status of Colleges of Education following the passage of the Colleges of Education Act 872 in 2017 meant that teachers were to be paid the salary difference between their previous salary levels and new salaries from January to September 2016.

It is to resolve all the issues raised by the teachers that the inconclusive meeting was called at the behest of the Ministry of Finance.

Indeed, prior to Tuesday’s meeting the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Labour Commission had attempted to resolve the matter but were unsuccessful.

The meeting which ended in deadlock on Tuesday, is therefore, another failure to resolve the issues that have been raised by the teachers.

The Ghanaian Times do not have the full facts, as it is yet to receive government’s response to the grievances raised by the teachers.

But the little knowledge we have about the issue leaves us with no doubt that the teachers’ case is legitimate.

Both the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the NCTE admitted that they have already began the process of extracting the needed data for onward action by the Finance Ministry.

If that is so, why are the teachers on strike and why is the government unable to convince them to go back to the classroom?

We do not believe that the issues are that complex and cannot be resolved.

We urge the government, teachers and all the stakeholders to go back to the negotiation table and resolve the issue quickly to enable the teachers to go back to the classroom.

Their continuous absence from the classroom is likely to disrupt the academic calendar and that may affect the students, parents and the schools negatively.

The teachers deserve hearing.

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