General News of Sunday, 16 December 2018
The Colleges of Education Teachers Association (CETAG) says it has given the government and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) 14 working days to begin negotiations over the payment of their allowances.
CETAG say they haven’t met with the Commission since they called off their strike.
The association embarked on an industrial action that lasted for a month to demand payment of their interim premium and book and research allowances.
The strike also forced the Ministry of Education to order the closure of all the 46 Colleges of Education in the country.
But CETAG called off its strike after the National Labour Commission (NLC) intervened.
However, days after the resumption of academic work at the Colleges of Education, General Secretary of CETAG, Nathan Ohene Gyan says the Association has still not met the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to address their concerns.
“Since the ruling came, we have not heard anything from government in any official way. We want to believe that the government and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission [have a role]. And since the Commission has not gotten into touch with us, government has also not come on board so we are keenly observing.”
Caution to government
Mr. Ohene further warned government to do what is expected of them or face the wrath of the association in the coming days.
“We will still be waiting because we respect the ruling of the labour commission. So, we will exhaust the period of 14 working days. Beyond that we will see what happens. We will talk to our lawyers and we will take the necessary actions from there. We are sending this word of caution because government is disrespecting the ruling by the NLC. Since civil society is looking on, we don’t want to be criticized later on for running away from negotiations, he said.
CETAG calls off strike after NLC intervention
About a week ago, the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) called off its one-month-old strike following another intervention by the National Labour Commission (NLC).
The resumption of work was to pave the way “for the commencement of negotiations as directed by the NLC,” a brief statement from CETAG said.
Colleges of Education shut down
Earlier, principals of the 46 Colleges of Education in the country were directed to shut down the schools indefinitely following the failure of tutors of the Colleges to call off their strike.
Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Vincent Asafoah, said the move had become necessary as it appears to be the only way to resolve the stalemate between the agitating teachers and the government.
Prior to the strike being called off, NCTE had warned that CETAG members will be denied their November salary because their strike was illegal.
CETAG also threatened to go to court to push for the closure of the colleges for the rest of this semester in line with the law governing the colleges, which states that colleges must be closed down and the semester annulled if academic work halts for more than three weeks.
Earlier defence by CETAG
CETAG defended its indefinite strike saying it has been in negotiations with the government since 2012 when the law was passed to give the colleges full tertiary status.
It said it had had five engagements with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission since the colleges were upgraded in 2016.
These engagements, according to CETAG, have not yielded any favourable result, and their members continue to be unfairly remunerated.
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations said it was shocked by the Association’s move to embark on an indefinite strike.
Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana, TTAG, also asked government to address the concerns of their lecturers else they will advise themselves.