Audio Attachment:Gen-Secretary of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Stanislav Nabome says the group's indefinite industrial strike action will continue until the the GES makes good its promise of paying them their due allowances.
National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), embarks on an indefinite industrial strike action.
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), says its indefinite industrial strike action will continue until it receives official documentation from the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) detailing information about the procedure (s) and processes regarding how the promised Gh¢10m meant for the payment of allowances gets to them.
Last year the leadership of NAGRAT threatened to embark on a nationwide strike on November 30, as a result of what they claimed was the lowering of their condition of service.
The threat was put on hold following an MoU reached between NAGRAT, GES and MOE at a meeting held on November 25. The group, however, made good its word when it embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike effective today.
Speaking in an interview on PEACEFM’s “Kokrokoo”, the General Secretary of NAGRAT, Stanislav Nabome regretted that despite the signing of the MoU, their outstanding car maintenance and responsibility allowances have still not been paid to them by the Ministry of Education and GES for the past six (6) months.
He told Kwami Sefa-Kayi that some regions and districts have not received their allowances, some for a period of 9 months. Asked what he thought could be the problem, Mr. Nabome said, “we really cannot answer that question. It’s the GES management that pays (teachers in the Regions and Districts)…Why they haven’t paid them we cannot explain,” he said.
Mr. Nabome revealed that in August 2009 during the NAGRAT Conference in Cape Coast, a communiqué was sent to the management of GES demanding all allowances due them, adding that on the 4th of October, 2009, another communiqué was sent to management after the NAGRAT Day Celebration at Koforidua.
“On all those occasions there was no response from the GES,” Mr. Nabome lamented.
He further stated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on November 25, 2009, for the payment of allowances by the 31st of January, 2010.
The General Secretary of NAGRAT said the group again wrote a reminder to GES on 22nd January, 2010 that the MoU signed was fast approaching since nothing had been about their allowances.
“On the 6th of February, 2010, another letter was sent to the management but there was no response from them….After all these talks, no responses were given,” he added.
According to him, NAGRAT wrote to the National Labour Commission (NLC) who in turn wrote to the Fair Wages Commission demanding payment of allowances.
“We sent a notice to the Labour Commission that NAGRAT would go on strike after 7 working days copied to the GES management,” he stated.
Mr. Nabome however acknowledged that at a meeting with the GES on Friday, February 26, 2010, the Director-General of the GES did read from a sheet of paper telling them that it was a letter from the Ministry of Finance indicating the release of Gh¢10m for the payment of all allowances.
“We asked GES management that we want a copy of that letter. Besides, we want to be told the procedure…the processes that they will go through and get the money for us and how soon that money can be paid to us…We have not got answers to all these…As at now we don’t even have a copy of the letter that is being flashed around that there is Gh¢10m for the payment of allowances. Based on this, we cannot say our concerns have been addressed,” he stated.
The NAGRAT General Secretary accused the GES of dragging its feet and showing a lack of commitment in resolving the issue.
“Infact, GES did not show sufficient commitment to addressing this concern…one month after the elapse of the MoU was signed, no efforts have been made…So we want the process to reach a level where we certain that we’re getting the money,” he stressed.
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