Don’t strike now, let’s engage further – Minister to CETAG

Source The Ghana Report

Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has urged the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) to revoke their decision of embarking on a nationwide strike from August 1, 2023.

The intended strike was to protest over non-compliance by the government on the implementation of the National Labour Commission’s (NLC) Arbitral Award Orders and the negotiated conditions of their service.

The minister said the Association must exercise patience to engage further on their grievances, instead of a strike action that is capable of disrupting the academic calendar.

Mr Yayra Dzakadzi, Director of Tertiary Education at the Ministry reading a statement on behalf of Dr Adutwum during the 13th congregation by SDA College of Education in Koforidua made the passionate appeal.

“Mr Chairman I wish to use this platform to appeal to the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana to engage the ministry further on the implementation of the negotiated allowances for its members rather than going on strike which will end up disrupting the academic calendar”.

In January 2023, CETAG embarked on an indefinite strike action after the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) protracted negotiations for new conditions of service for more than a year.

The strike was however called off following interventions by the National Labour Commission.

A compulsory arbitral order birthed new conditions of service for CETAG agreed upon by the government.

However, in a press release dated Monday, July 10, 2023, CETAG demonstrated that the agreed negotiations between the two parties had not been implemented despite several letters of notice to the Ministry of Finance.

“Following the NLC’s compulsory Arbitral Award, the parties proceeded to sign off the negotiation agreement, which has been communicated to the Ministry of Finance by the FWSC since May 26, 2023, for approval and implementation. Surprisingly, the MoF has refused to act on FWSC’s letter together with the NLC’s Arbitral ORDERS despite letters to the MoF requesting immediate implementation of the negotiated agreements. Practically, CETAG members cannot continue to survive on expired 2020 CoS in this biting economy of Ghana,” excerpts of the statement read.

CETAG, therefore, warned that it will be forced to lay down tools by the end of July if the government fails to honour its part of the negotiation.

Additionally, it will not continue with the all-year-round academic calendar for 2023/2024.

The Minister of Education however has announced that the government has processed an amount of over 32 million Ghana Cedis for the first batch of book and research allowances payable to eligible senior members of public tertiary institutions across the country.

He further stated that the government is indeed leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the smooth operations of CETAG as the government has released an amount of 241,913,000 Ghana Cedis for the payment of trainees’ allowance in the Country.

The Minister also said some Colleges of Education have qualified to be converted into full-fledged universities in the coming months.

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