The Ghana Education Service (GES), says the pre-tertiary teacher unions have no basis to embark on industrial action.
The unions, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) are unhappy over what they claim are inadequate teaching and learning resources, contact and working hours as well as upgrading of teachers.
The unions have given the government a September deadline to address their concerns.
At a press briefing in Accra, on Thursday, August 26, 2021, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa responded to the concerns raised by the teacher unions.
“During the press conference by the teacher unions, they said they are doing more than they should be doing but let me indicate that, they are not doing more than they should be doing. If for any reason they are doing more than that, I want to assure you that at the time that we were drawing the calendar when COVID-19 broke out, we had extensive discussions with stakeholders, and they were key stakeholders in those discussions, and we agreed on the modalities and contact hours, so they can’t be doing more,” he said.
Concerns of teacher unions
The issues include teaching and learning resources, contact and working hours, upgrading of teachers, and issues regarding promotions.
Not only the above, but the groups also raised concerns about allowances, transfers, signing of performance contracts, and the refusal to appoint teachers in offices as heads and assistant heads of schools.
These issues according to the teachers are to blame for the poor quality of education, which reflects in the results of students, especially at the first cycle institutions.
In a statement, the teacher unions said if their concerns are not addressed by the close of September 2021, they will not hesitate to lay down their tools.
“We, the teacher unions are hereby serving notice that if by the close of September 2021, all these issues are not resolved in full by the employer, then we will have no option than to advise ourselves in the best interest of our members within the framework of our collective agreement and the applicable laws of Ghana.”
On the signing of the performance contract, in particular, the groups argued that “this is unacceptable because the unions do not know the details and the implications of the contract. We call on the management of the GES to suspend the signing of the performance contracts until it has been discussed with the unions”.