The Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to desist from the monthly deductions of SIC insurance premium from the salaries of its members.
Describing the deductions as illegal, the union also asked the GES to refund same to the affected members.
Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday to catalogue a number of issues bordering TEWU, the Acting General Secretary of TEWU, Mark Dankyira Korankye, said the government must pay attention to these issues in order not to derail the progress made so far.
Among the issues he said was the continuous deductions made from their salaries as premium for the SIC Insurance Policy, despite assurances that it was now voluntary.
“What we stand for is that it is an insurance package, so individuals who think that it is good for them, should have been given the opportunity to pick a form and fill it to subscribe to it. These wholesale deductions in the name of the GES-SIC must stop in order to maintain industrial harmony. This was the understanding of members of TEWU during all the regional conference,” he said.
The Acting General Secretary said even though members of TEWU had filled forms to opt out of the insurance policy, GES was still deducting the insurance policy from their salaries.
“TEWU members will no longer tolerate the imposition of the GES-SIC Insurance Policy, which the management of the GES is still forcing on them. The entrenched position taken by the management of the GES has seen the continuous deductions from members’ salaries under the GES-SIC Insurance policy,” he said.
Mr Korankye said another issue bordering TEWU had to do with the exclusion of some categories of its members from enjoying the Critical Support Premium (CSP).
“There has been a long standing debate between TEWU and GES management, regarding the eight classes of our membership who are not enjoying the CSP which pre-supposes that maybe their work is not necessary. But we believe that everybody’s work is important in the education sector in general,” he said.
Mr Korankye said there had been a huge backlog of outstanding promotions and urged GES to fast-track the process to get all members of TEWU who were due for promotions to be promoted, indicating that the delay in promotion was really demoralising its members.
He said the implementation of the free Senior High School double track was increasing the workload on its members, yet government was not compensating its members as it was doing for teaching staff.
“We need to bear in mind that it does not take only the teacher to reform or teach the child. The non-teaching staff also play critical roles in ensuring conducive environment for effective learning and teaching in schools,” he said.
Mr Dankyira said the TEWU leadership was worried about the non recruitment by GES as the GES management promised in June this year.
“We are in August now and have not seen any action in this direction. We pray that temporary staff that were being paid by the school PTAs would be considered for immediate employment, since the PTAs could no longer recruit and pay these workers,” he said.
By Kingsley Asare