Government agrees to pay 15% Teachers Retention Premium

Government on Friday agreed to give all teachers of the Ghana Education Service (GES) a “Teachers Retention Premium” (TRP) of 15 per cent with effect from March 11, 2011.

The premium shall be enjoyed by all professional and non-professional teachers of the GES and not just the professional teachers alone as prevailed in previous arrangements.

This is the outcome of a two-and-a-half hours closed door meeting in Accra by the Leadership of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Government Negotiating Team.

The Government’s Team was represented by Ministers of Education, Finance and Economic Planning, Employment and Social Welfare; Ghana Education Service, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Controller and Accountant General Department.

The meeting, which started around 1100 hours had to break for caucus meetings three times and had finally ended in agreement at exactly 1545 hours.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare and Spokesperson of the Government Team, said in addition to the TRP, certain categories of non-teaching staff of GES who were members of TEWU whose job functions provided critical support to teaching and learning such as Laboratory Technicians would also enjoy the premium.

He announced that government had set up a Technical Committee comprising the leadership of the Teachers’ Union to ensure that the errors were corrected.

Mr Mensah said a roadmap for the consideration of categories two and three allowances, meant for all public services employees, would be circulated on Tuesday, March 15.

Following the migration of GES staff from the Ghana Universal Salaries Structure (GUSS) to the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), there were complaints of errors in the migration process and some sections of teachers felt dissatisfied with the levels of enhancement of their salaries even after the migration.

Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrissu, Minister of Education, said the Memorandum of Understanding signified an end to a difficult road as they spent 10 days to witness the turmoil on teachers’ front.

She said all along, the Government kept saying it was sympathetic towards the errors that occurred as a result of the migration of teachers on the SSSS and that they should trust that it would be corrected.

“It is unfortunate that some teachers decided to embark on strike actions,” she said, adding, “I wish to appeal to the leadership to talk to your colleagues to go back to their classrooms to ensure effective teaching and learning.”

Mrs Mould-Iddrissu said government was concern about both the plight of teachers and the pupils who suffer unjustifiably through no faults of theirs.

She pointed out that SSSS was a process and not a one-time issue and pledged government’s commitment to resolving any other outstanding issues.

Mr John Nyoagbe, Deputy General Secretary of GNAT, said at the beginning of the meeting they thought it would not be easy but at the same time they were optimistic that they would reach a conclusion that would get something for their members.

He said he was grateful for President John Evans Atta Mills for his quick response to their problems and pledged their commitment to convince their membership to go back to the classroom.

Mr Stanislaus P. Nabome, General Secretary, NAGRAT, said they were lucky to have had a listening government and was also grateful to President Atta Mills.

He expressed the hope that the roadmap to all SSSS issues would be made clear to forestall any future agitations.

Mr Peter K. Lumor, National Chairman, TEWU, said they were happy for a successful end to the problem.

He said when the problem started, TEWU was left out but was grateful to God that TEWU was brought in for a successful negotiation.

Mr Lumor said the TRP had covered some TEWU members and would give GES some peace.

Earlier, some teachers clashed with the police at the GNAT Hall when they flouted police instructions to wait for their leadership to meet the government negotiating team to present their grievances.

Unconfirmed reports said some of the demonstrating teachers were arrested and tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse them.

Source: GNA

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