The Northern Regional Council of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has urged major stakeholders in education to play their roles effectively towards resolving the fracas in the teachers’ front.
“We view the seemingly silence of these key stakeholders – the National Labour Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service – during the recent disturbances in the teachers front as bad precedence and call on them to sit up.”
This was contained in a press release issued to the GNA and signed by Mr Joseph B. Abu, Northern Regional Secretary of GNAT, after a meeting held with the leadership of the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (COHBS) and the Concerned Teachers Association in Tamale on Tuesday.
The meeting was to discuss and respond to issues raised by some aggrieved teachers in the wake of the crisis that followed teachers’ migration on to the SSSS in February this year.
Following the migration of teachers’ salaries unto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) the leadership of the professional association called a strike action over their dissatisfaction with the levels of pay and some discrepancies.
A splinter group of the professional associations also called on the leadership of GNAT and NAGRAT to resign, blaming them for not negotiating in the best interest of members.
But the release said GNAT was not in charge of the payment of teachers’ salaries as it was been made to appear in some circles, noting that processing and payment of teachers’ salaries rests with the Ghana Education Service, which employs them and the Controller and Accountant Generals’ Department.
The release further stated that GNAT, the National Association of Graduate Teachers’ (NAGRAT) or the Teachers’ and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) directly negotiated to fix the base pay on the SSSS.
“The base pay of GHc 1, 108.08 per annum and the pay point relativity of 1.7 percent which was used to construct the 2010 SSSS was negotiated by Organised Labour led by the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC)”.
Mr Abu said that all the figures which were now on the correct single spine salary chart reflect the 2010 base pay, adding that organized labour had already submitted proposals on the base pay and pay point relativity for 2011 to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission for negotiations.
He explained that the single spine had a five-year period to go through its full implementation effective January 2010 and that GNAT would ensure that teachers’ salary levels improve as the years go by.
“It is, therefore, clear from the foregoing that if the base pay is low it cannot be due to incompetence of GNAT leadership since it applies to all public sector workers,” he said.
Mr Abu noted that unlike their counterparts in the other regions, the aggrieved teachers in Tamale held their demonstrations peacefully and never demanded the resignation of their leadership.
“We view the call for the resignation of the GNAT leadership at this time as dangerous and, it cannot constitute the position of all teachers in the Northern Region,” it said.
“In any case even if the need for this arises, the laid down provisions in the GNAT constitution must be strictly followed,” he added.