A group of teachers calling itself Coalition of Concerned Teachers in the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis on Tuesday took to the streets for the third time to express their disappointment about the discrepancies in their salary levels under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
The teachers, numbering over 400, wore red bands on their necks and wrists and matched to the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Education office in Takoradi, playing brass band music.
They gathered at the foot of the two storey building that housed the staff of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metro Education whilst the leadership of the group moved upwards to the office of the Metro Director of Education, Nana Kofi Mbeah, to present the petition.
He was not there at the time and his deputy, Mr. Ato Bruce, received the petition on his behalf.
He pleaded with the demonstrating teachers to return to the classroom but it was met with loud protest,” We’ll not go…..we’ll not go……we’ll not.”
Mr Bruce told the GNA that they had received a directive from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department that they should collect complaints from GES staff on Single Spine Salary Structure payment and that, after compilation, they should submit them to the regional education office latest by Wednesday, March 9, for onward submission to them.
The petition of the teachers read “We’re not happy about the Single Spine Salary Structure. We were not informed about any rationalization of salaries but adjustment. We’ll resign from GNAT and NAGRAT since they are not championing our course. We’ll sit down till the technical committee resolves all the anomalies detected on teachers’ salaries. We’ll teach with our conscience.”
One of the teachers Mr William Adjolo, a teacher, told the GNA that they were tired of the numerous unfulfilled promises from the government and this time round, they would not heed to any promise until they saw upward adjustment in their salaries.
He called for a proper job re-evaluation for a better placement of teachers on the SSS and that the professional allowance of teachers should be treated as category one allowance and exempted from tax deductions.
Mr Adjolo said no profession contributed much to the human resource base of the economy than teachers but they had not been given due recognition in terms of remuneration.
He said they would not return to the classroom if nothing was done about the situation immediately, saying “We are not going back to the classroom”.
Whiles some complained to the GNA about reduction in their old salaries, others were utterly disgusted that not even a penny was added to their salaries.
They said they had lost trust in the executives of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) because they were in bed with the government.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read “Action Year-All die be die”, “Uncle Atta, wake up-you were once a teacher”, “Ennko Yie”, “We have been cheated for far too long”, “Our reward is right here on Earth”, “We’ll not accept any Single Spine bone.”
Most of the public schools in the metropolis were not open for academic work.