The rise of a sleeping giant brings fear and panic, so was the state basic education when three unions merged forces to embark on a strike against the government. It took the intervention of a court order to compel teachers to go back to the classroom.
The old adage “Prevention is better than cure” should advise the Ghana Education Service and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to be proactive in resolving issues tabled by the teacher. Alas, that has not been the case.
Teachers may soon demonstrate or embark on strike action and the impact may be damaging than the previous demonstration when three teacher unions bared their teeth at the Ghana Education Service and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission for failing to respond appropriately to issues bothering teacher’s legacy arrears among others.
A month after, the lukewarm attitude to the demands of teachers and the resulting strike action has both the GES and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission seem to have gone to sleep. Another teachers’ strike looms and the writings are on the wall.
Trendit360 has sighted a letter dated 20th January from teacher unions in Ghana which indicated among other things that the two key stakeholders should respond to issues tabled in the said letter.
From the letter, it is clear that all promises made to the striking unions regarding the provision and publication of data of unpaid teachers legacy arrears have not been supplied.
Again, the legacy arrears have also not been paid. Teachers were promised and assured that their arrears were to hit their accounts latest 19th December 2019.
However, publications in the media indicated that the outstanding legacy arrears have been paid is not the reality. The letter further indicated that request for the review of the GES’ promotion processes has also not been tackled by the service.
An attempt by the teacher unions to help resolve outstanding issues on the new collective agreement with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has not been successful.
The tone of the letter is a clear indication that the teacher unions are not enthused about the lackadaisical approach to resolving their grievances.
The teacher unions have clearly indicated that failure of government, GES, and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to resolve their issues will have negative consequences.
“Failure to do so would have the GES and the Fair Wages and Salaries blaming themselves since the Teacher Unions can no longer restrain their members.” The letter said.
The government has up to 31st January to ensure the GES and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission do the needful. Another teachers’ strike would make the government unpopular. The stakes are high and this is an election.