CETAG to continue strike despite August salary freeze

Teachers and principals of colleges of education are sharply divided on whether the striking tutors should continue with their industrial action.

But the College of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) insists it will continue the strike despite the government’s decision to withhold their August remuneration.

According to them, freezing their salaries is nothing new to them.

“We are determined. We have told our members this is bound to happen because we experienced it in 2018,” a CETAG representative said.

It comes on the heels of a directive contained in a statement signed on behalf of the Director-General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTE), freezing the salaries and allowances to be paid the members of CETAG for the month of August.

It noted that the action will affect the teaching staff of all 46 Colleges of CETAG.

“We write at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Education, requesting you NOT to pay monthly salary and allowances for the month of August 2023 to the Teaching Staff of all 46 Colleges of Education,” portions of the release dated August 21 stated.

The notice, however, directed CAGD to validate and pay the arrears owed to CETAG before August 2023.

But the teachers say they would not call off the strike.

Earlier, the Education Ministry issued a directive for the principals of the various colleges of education to submit attendance of tutors at post before the validation of salaries in August.

This is to enable the Ministry to withhold their August salaries since they were on strike and therefore did not undertake their duties.

CETAG on August 1, 2023, embarked on an indefinite strike to push the government to redeem its promise of implementing its negotiated conditions of service.

Their decision follows the non-compliance of the government to implement the National Labour Commission’s (NLC) Arbitral Award Orders and the negotiated conditions of service since May 2, 2023.

President of CETAG, Prince Obeng-Himah insisted the NLC must compel the Finance Ministry to heed agreements on their conditions of service, adding that until they see total compliance with the orders, they would not budge.

The NLC in this regard directed CETAG to call off its strike and appear before the Commission for a hearing.

This is after the leadership of the Association failed to appear before the NLC on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, for a hearing on their industrial action.

But CETAG dismissed claims that it refused to hour the NLC’s invitation for a hearing over their strike.

Meanwhile, the National President of Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) assured that CETAG’s demands from government will be met by August 31.

Speaking on JoyNews’ The Probe on Sunday, Prof Samuel Atintono said processes are currently underway for their concerns to be addressed.

“Government has accepted, we are working through the process and we are hoping that by August ending they should get it,” he said.

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Source: myjoyonline.com

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