Teachers call off strike action

The three teacher unions have called off their strike over the payment of legacy arrears owed their members with immediate effect and asked the teachers to return to the classroom.

“The decision of the three teacher unions was arrived at on the advice of our lawyers in consequence to the Court order dated Wednesday, December 11, 2019 to call off the nationwide strike action which commenced on Monday, December 9, 2019 and as law abiding citizens, we do so forthwith,” they said in a joint statement issued, on Thursday.

This follows an order of interlocutory injunction secured by the National Labour commission against the unions after they failed not only to honour its invitation to a meeting but to comply with its directive to call off the strike.

However, the Unions’ statement, signed by Mr Thomas T. Musah, General Secretary of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), on behalf of the three presidents, stated that their next line of action would be communicated to the rank and file in due course.

GNAT, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers- Ghana (CCT-Ghana) declared the strike on Thursday, December 5, to back their demand to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to urgently pay all the beneficiaries of the legacy arrears accumulated between 2012 and 2016.

But the GES has said it is still in the process of vetting the outstanding arrears for approval and payment by the Christmas break following the detection of some anomalies that could cost the taxpayer some millions of cedis.

As of the end of September 2019, the GES said in a statement, that it had paid 87,556 of the original 120,232 affected staff.

It was also scrutinising another set of data, covering some 1,847 beneficiaries, which was submitted to it by the Controller and Accountant General-Department on November 9, 2019.

The Unions said their members, who had suffered through the years, were not responsible for the anomalies and must get their monies without any further delay.

They, therefore, gave a December 5 deadline to the GES at their last meeting (on December 2), after which, they declared their strike.

“Consequent to the declaration of a nationwide industrial action on Thursday, December 5, 2019, by the three teacher unions (GNAT, NAGRAT AND CCT-GH) which commenced on Monday, December 9, 2019, we wish to inform all our members that the nationwide strike action which was declared by the three unions has been called off,” the release stated.

The release said: “They are therefore informing all their members to call off the strike action and thanked them for their solidarity and support.

“We have however, advised our lawyers to obtain copies of all the court processes from the court leading to the said order and which were not served on us before the order was obtained and advise us appropriately,” it added.

Source: GNA

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