Striking Teachers Cry Over Pay

Teachers of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) are asking for the payment of their November salaries before they can take part in any negotiations to call off their three-week strike.

The Ministry of Education had placed an embargo on the salaries of the striking CETAG members.

The members of CETAG, who declared the strike on October 29, were optimistic their issues related to market premium and research allowance would be addressed by government.

But the government has described the strike as illegal and resolved not to pay them for the period they were out of the classroom.

The Education Ministry ordered all principals of Colleges of Education not to validate salaries of tutors due to their decision to declare an indefinite strike.
The affected teachers are demanding market premium, as well as book and research allowance on the same scale with their colleagues in other tertiary institutions.

However, the action of the ministry appears to be adversely affecting the teachers.

They indicated that if their salaries are not paid, the government should rule out any negotiations.
At a press conference in Kumasi yesterday, CETAG President Prince Obeng-Himah, said the directive to freeze their salaries was procedurally wrong.

They said they would attend a meeting summoned by the Labour Commission for today, but would disregard any move to meet government until their salaries are paid.

They said since NLC had not described their strike as illegal, it did not lie in the mouth of government to do so.

“We have been clear and we need to be consistent that unless the issue of the frozen salary is settled, we will not sit down to have any discussion with any government agency,” he said.

He said they would go to the Labour Commission with a strong legal team to tell them their side of the story, insisting that they followed the right procedures before announcing their strike.