The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has called off its indefinite strike over the failure by the government to make good its pledges to pay arrears owed teachers.
The association announced its decision to suspend its strike after a meeting with the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry and other stakeholders in Accra last Monday.
The decision by the teachers union to call off the strike last Monday evening was because it said it was satisfied with negotiations made with the government to pay the arrears.
“We are satisfied with the fact that at the end of this month, 10,000 teachers will be processed. On this note, I call on all my members that the association is suspending its industrial action for now and hope and pray that the commitment is sustained,” the President of NAGRAT, Mr Eric Agbe-Carbonu, said.
He said he was optimistic that the government would no longer renege on its promise but ensure that all teachers owed by the government were paid.
He stated further that after the 10,000 teachers had been validated for payment, NAGRAT would hold another meeting with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to discuss the payment plan.
Following NAGRAT’s strike on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, the government paid GH¢40,368,203.71 million in salary arrears to 2,566 teachers, leaving a balance of about GH¢50 million to be paid to about 10,000 more teachers.
The arrears cover salaries, vehicle maintenance allowances, transfer grants, transport and travel allowances.
“Calling off the strike on the basis of the promise by the government to effect payment on May 6, will be a wrong move as the scheduled payment to the 2,566 teachers barely covered five per cent of the total number of unpaid teachers,” Mr Agbe-Carbonu said.
While questioning what the Audit Service had done with the validation exercise that was ongoing for the about six years that the government owed the teachers, he said NAGRAT would continue to monitor any payment to teachers and ensure that plans were put in place to pay up the remaining arrears before calling off the strike.
At the meeting last Monday, the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, had said: “Today, it has been confirmed that the payment has been effected,” referring to the government’s earlier pledge, and appealed to NAGRAT to call off the strike.
He said the parties had agreed that latest by May 6, 2018, 10,000 of teachers who were still owed arrears would be paid.