The Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) of Trade Union Congress has said the decision by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to impose the State Insurance Company (SIC) policy on its staff violated the country’s Labour Act.
Section 70(1)(a) of the Labour Act 2003 (ACT 651) states that “an employer may with the consent of the worker, make any of the following deductions from the remuneration of the work; any amount due from the worker in respect of contributions to any provident, pension or other funds or scheme agreed to by the worker”.
The Union said contrary to the provision above, the management of GES in collaboration with the SIC has unilaterally imposed the policy on its members.
The Union has resolved that such deductions should cease with immediate effect and that refunds should be made to the affected staff without further delay.
This was in a statement signed by Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, the Acting General Secretary of TEWU and copied to the Ghana News Agency at a resolution adopted by the National Executive Council meeting of the Union in Accra.
The resolution was presented to the GES secretariat in Accra.
The Council meeting resolved that the critical support premium should be extended to all the eight non-teaching staff of GES which are the administrative staff, the secretarial staff, the supply and material staff, the technical estate staff, the technical general staff, the technical transport staff, the semi-skilled staff and the security staff.
On promotion, the Council meeting resolved that the GES should immediately engage the leadership of TEWU to initiate pragmatic measures to curb all the issues raised in relation to promotions including promotion without letters, promotions without upgrading and delayed promotions.
“We resolved that GES management should engage the leadership of the Union to review the intervention fund. The Intervention Fund was an incentive package which was introduced by the government as a result of the free Senior High School policy and consequent increase in work load of staff,” he added.
He said the GES in disbursing the fund, allocated 80 percent to the teaching staff and 20 per cent to the non-teaching staff without any scientific basis.
On recruitment, the Union agreed and urged the management of the GES to recruit more non-teaching staff before the commencement of the 2019/2020 new academic year.
The statement said this was important because of the introduction of the Double Track system of the Free Senior High School Policy has tremendously increased the workload of some categories of the non-teaching staff.
Touching on annual leave, the Council meeting urged management of the GES to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Conditions of Service of the non-teaching class.
Mr Korankye said in recent times, some management of the GES were imposing the Public Service Commission’s new leave policy on its members disregarding the negotiated provision in their Conditions of Service.
On teachers performing the duties of non-teaching staff, the Council meeting resolved that GES should immediately move all teachers performing non-teaching duties to the vacant classrooms where their services are urgently needed.
“We urged the government through the Ministry of Education, the GES Council and other stakeholders in the education sector to prevail on the management of GES to take proactive steps to handle our concerns without any further delay in order not to disrupt the new academic calendar.
We hereby resolve on behalf of the entire membership that, if the above issues are not resolved by September 4, 2019, we will be compelled to advice ourselves appropriately within the confines of the law”.