Teacher unions suspend strike

Three teacher unions in the country have suspended their intended industrial action scheduled to take effect today, over unpaid salaries and other allowances.

The unions, made up of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), yesterday rescinded their notice of strike served on government a fortnight ago.

This was after the unions realised the enormity of work needed to be done on about 34,000 documents submitted by their members for validation which required not less than two weeks to be completed.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the General Secretary of GNAT, David Ofori Acheampong, hinted that the unions were expecting up to 60,000 documents on their members’ salary and allowances for scrutiny before payment could be effected.

The unions threatened to embark on industrial action if government failed to make full payment of their salary arrears and other allowances by the end of last month.

They had earlier met with government representatives on ocassions last week and had reached an agreement to produce validation data for payment.

In a communique signed by the parties, government agreed to clear all salary arrears and other allowances subject to the validation and further promised to release GH¢1.5 million for the payment of 2012 outstanding allowances with immediate effect.

However, the General Secretary yesterday said that the payment might be delayed because some districts including Suhum, Ayensuano, Asuagyaman and Afram Plains South in the Eastern Region were yet to submit their documents.

He said the other districts are Sene, Sene West, Pru, Banda, Dorma West in Brong-Ahafo; Prestea-Huni Valley in the Western Region; Zabzugu in the Northern Region; Kumawu in Ashanti; Awutu Senya, Gomoa East and West and Twifo-Ati Mokwa in the Central Region.

He commended government for showing enough commitment to the process by bringing additional 22 staff from the Ghana Audit Service to support the existing workforce doing the validation.

According to him, the unions have also committed to cooperate with government by supporting the extension of time in order to complete the entire exercise adding “we have taken this action because we want our members who have been victims of this policy to have their forms validated and their salary arrears paid”.

By Charles Amankwa  

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