The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, has expressed shock at the decision by the College of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG), to embark on an indefinite strike over the payment of their market premium, book and research allowance.
CETAG on Monday decided to embark on a strike after three months of unsuccessful negotiations with the government to have their concerns addressed.
The decision has affected all the forty-six public Colleges of Education in the country.
But the Colleges of Education Trainees Association of Ghana (CETAG), has defended its indefinite strike over differences in market premium between its members and University teachers.
CETAG said it has been in negotiations with government since 2012 when the law was passed to give the colleges full tertiary status, and has had five engagements with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission since they were upgraded in 2016.
These engagements, according to CETAG, have not yielded any favourable result, and their members continue to be unfairly remunerated.
CETAG National President, Prince Obeng Hemah, who spoke to Citi News said their claim is genuine and must be resolved with urgency.
“I have documentation to support that our claims are legitimate and qualify for market premium so government can’t tell us anything. We qualify for it and when we come around the table for negotiation and they tell us they are going to give us 127 Ghana cedis whereas our colleagues who do the same job we do, are given between Ghc1,600 and Ghc1,800 per month,” he said.
But in an interview with Citi News, the Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wereko Brobbey, said the Ministry is trying to call the teachers back to the negotiation table.
“The Ministry was surprised to hear that CETAG is on an indefinite strike when we are talking to them. It is a negotiation, we have not categorically said anything to CETAG; we are still talking and we need them all on board to resolve the situation at hand ” he said.
CETAG gave government up to the end of October which is when the academic year begins to institute ‘market premium’ and ‘book and research allowances’ for its members.
Yesterday [Monday] CETAG declared an indefinite strike over failed attempts by the government to the payment of their market premium and book and research allowances.
In a statement issued by CETAG on Monday, October 29 the decision to embark on the strike was reached after an emergency National Council meeting in Kumasi.
The decision was based on “failure to reach an agreement with Government on Interim Market Premium as well as Book and Research allowance for members of CETAG, after a three-month period of negotiation.
According to CETAG, they have engaged government on several occasions to legitimately negotiate their salaries and other conditions of service as is provided for in the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.