NLC was unfair to teachers – Former NLC Boss

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

A former Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Charles Bawa Duah, has criticised the commission over what he says is their unfair treatment towards striking teachers.

“I think that the NLC processes will need to be reviewed. I have followed this dispute since it started and it seems to me the NLC has stampeded the process. Under the NLC regulations, when a complaint is lodged of an employee who is not working or is on strike, there’s a procedure which requires that you write to the employee to respond to the complaint withing 14 days

“After the 14 days, you can now invite the parties. And so I would’ve expected the NLC to provide the employees [unions] with that period to enable them prepare their case and appear before the commission. But that was not done” he explains.

Three teacher unions across the country embarked on an industrial action to protest non-payment of their legacy arrears.

Public school children were left in the care of national service personnel while the strike continued for three days.

The NLC in its ruling declared the  teacher’s action illegal, ordering  them to return to work.

That directive was, however, defied by the teachers.

On  December, 11, 2019, the commission secured a court order to compel the teachers to call off their strike.

Compel government to pay teachers too

But speaking in an interview on Starr FM, the Former NLC Boss  faulted the commission for failing to be objective.

Mr Duah urged  the commission to also compel government to pay the teachers.

He said this will only ensure fairness.

“There are two sides to the coin. The teachers are complaining of not being paid. It is contrary to the laws of labour in this country to engage a worker and not pay. What is the NLC doing about that?

‘They should not be seen to be pursuing one angle which is go back to work, your strike is illegal. How about their claims for remuneration? Does the worker work on an empty stomach? You must pursue the interest of both parties. But if you go pursuing the teachers to get back to work without pursuing the interest of the employer to pay them, clearly you’re not being fair’.

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