The National Labour Commission [NLC], has summoned the leadership of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG), an association whose members have been on strike for over three weeks.
They are to appear before the commission on Thursday, November 29, 2018.
The November salaries of the teachers have been frozen for not working for over three weeks in protest against government’s failure to pay them their Interim Market Premium as well as Book and Research allowance.
“I must admit that we have to appear before the National Labour Commission tomorrow [Thursday]. The National Labour Commission we all know has powers just like a high court. So it’s like you being summoned to the court, irrespective of your position you need to appear before the court. For that one we will go,” Prince Obeng Himah added.
He however said they are not ready to return to negotiations with government over the ongoing strike unless their November salaries are validated and paid.
Addressing journalists in Kumasi, Prince Obeng Himah said they still stand by their demands.
“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 meaningful discussion with any government agency. I’m talking about the key stakeholders that we play the game of teacher education with all the time,” he added.
Settle our teachers – students appeal
Some students of the Wesley College of Education in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region in a Citi News appealed to government to yield to the demands of their teachers because they are bearing the brunt of the strike.
SRC President of the school, Augustine Appiah, told Citi News’ Ashanti Regional correspondent, Hafiz Tijani, that most of the students have gone home due to the strike.
“There was information that came from the national TTAG Secretariat that they are giving the government up to 28thNovember, and if the tutors are not back, then Principals of the Colleges should allow the students to go home. So that is why classes are not in session. When there was no strike students were available, but most of them have left campus because of the strike. We are pleading with the government pay attention to our tutors. If they what they are demanding is due them, the government should render it to them because we’re worried over their absence,” he added.
He said they are currently in a dilemma since the academic calendar has been affected.
“Looking at things now, if the Colleges are closed down, we don’t know whether we are coming to continue in January or we are postponing it to a new academic year. So government should do well to negotiate with CETAG so that they will come back to campus,” he added.
Hafiz reported that he saw other students at the Wesley College of Education idling around, while others were seen in small groups chatting with friends at the time of the visit.
CETAG in October 2018 went on strike after three months of unsuccessful negotiations with the government to have their concerns addressed.
The decision has affected all the 46 public Colleges of Education in the country.
CETAG has 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 has 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.