‘No November salaries, no negotiations’

The Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) says it is not ready to negotiate with the government on their ongoing strike unless their November salaries are validated and paid.

Members of the Association have taken on the Ministry of Education for what they described as falsehood being peddled by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry on issues bothering on their concerns.

According to the Association the directive by the National Council for Tertiary Education to withhold the salaries of the striking teachers was unlawful.

At a press briefing, president of the association, Prince Obeng Himah, noted that the pronouncement of a strike as legal or illegal solely rests with the Labour Commission and not the Ministry of Education or its public relations officer or the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE).

He noted that prior to their strike the NCTE had sent information to the authorities not to validate the teachers for their November salaries which suggested that they had arrogated powers to themselves.

He pointed out that the very logic and principle that the Fair Wages Commission apply in creating salary and market premium for teachers in other categorisation in tertiary institutions should have been applied for the Association members.

He explained that the association members rejected government’s lack of mandate to negotiate above five per cent salary which is translatable into GH¢127. 00 stressing that “if government can pay other colleagues with same qualifications in other tertiary institutions a market premium in the range of GH¢1,683 and GH¢1,850, then they should not be paid that paltry GH¢127.00.”

On book and research allowance, Mr Himah said there was an across board figure in the country and the fact that they have been admitted into the tertiary status per the passage of Act 847 2012, “any attempt by the government to deny them the package amounts to gross discrimination”.

He said the status of tertiary of college of education teachers of Ghana had been backed by Parliament -College of Education Act 847 2012 adding “that has enabled us to function as tertiary institution to train diploma in basic education teachers to teach in pre-tertiary institutions in the country.”

Mr Himah mentioned that association members declined to be part of a seven-member technical committee proposed by the government because they felt the work expected of the committee had already been done by the wages and salary commission.

And, that the two bodies did not need any committee to help determine where CETAG belonged to in the categorisation of tertiary institution in the country.

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI

 

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