We need proactive institutions to avoid industrial actions – President Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama on Monday directed public institutions and officials engaged in dealing with labour-related issues to be proactive and firm to avoid misunderstandings that could escalate into industrial strikes.
He said government would also provide capacity building for officials engaged in such negotiations to avoid the recurrence of strikes that the country had experienced in recent times.
President Mahama made this call when Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress led various teacher Unions to call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The Unions, made up Teachers and Educational Workers Union, Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Graduate Teachers Association and Concerned Teachers Association, were at the invitation of President Mahama to find solutions to the on-going teachers’ strike action.
Also at the meeting were Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education, Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Information and Media Relations and Mr Samuel Doe Alobia, President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers.
Before moving into a closed-door meeting, President Mahama called on the teachers to return to the classroom, while their leaderships negotiated with government as their industrial action was impacting negatively on the students and education in general.
Mr Asamoah on his part called on government to deal with labour issues with dispatch to avoid the recurrence of strikes as that could undermine governance and various Unions involved.
He also called for the activation of institutions and individuals to live up to their responsibilities to ensure fruitful and workable working relations between government and various Unions and their workers.
Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said although their previous meetings with various Unions had produced some positive and progressive moves, such progress was yet to be reflected on teachers’ retentive premium.
She appealed to the Unions to rescind their decisions and return to the classroom in order to jeopardize the lives of the students.
Meanwhile, Mr Samuel Doe Alobia, who spoke to the media after the closed-door meeting said although the meeting was fruitful, they had to consult the various Union Councils before a firm decision would be taken.
He however ruled out calling off the strike adding that “At best we can only suspend the strike until our demands are met and not a total call off.”